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Although spoken of as a second edition, the present volume is to all 
intents and purposes a new work, embracing a large district surrounding 
Altrincham and Bowdon, and including the rapidly rising townships of 
Sale and Ashton-on-Mersey, which have increased enormously both in 
population and wealth during the past 20 years. It also marks a con- 
necting link between what may be termed new and old styles, for the 
art of printing has made enormous strides, and by means of modern 
processes illustrations can now be given in greater number and variety, 
the cost of which was formerly prohibitive. And in the latter connection 
I have to express my hearty obligations to Mr. T. Colley, of Altrincham, 
a local artist. I may mention especially the sketch showing the Scotch 
rebels entering the Altrincham Market Place in 1745, also that of Lord 
Strange crossing the Mersey on bis way to besiege Manchester ; a pretty 
view of the Firs in the old coaching days, after William Hull, and the 
old church of Ringway, &c. The sketch of the vertebrate fauna of the 
district, which has been kindly supplied by Mr. T. A. Coward, of Bowdon, 
will be found most interesting to naturalists. I must also thank 
Mr. John Ingham, of Sale, for several excellent photographic views which 
he kindly placed at my disposal ; Mr. Josiah Drinkwater, of Altrincham, 
for a capital photo, of the Free Library and Technical Schools ; to Mr. W. 
Owen, A.I.B.A., for a view of the new Cemetery Chapel at Hale ; as also 
to others who have in any way assisted to make the work both interesting 
and complete. 

It was a source of the deepest pleasure to see the manner in which the 
"History of Altrincham and Bowdon" was received by the public, and 
that pleasure has since been enhanced by the remembrance that a record 
of the traditions and customs of the ancient boro' of Altrincham would, 
inevitably, have been lost but for the record which it was my good fortune 
to be able to make. I trust that my present effort may have as kindly a 
reception, and meet with the same good-natured and friendly criticism. 
I have endeavoured througliout to record facts and not opinions merely, 
and I am in hopes it will attain the object set forth in the first edition, 
and form not only " a book of reference, but also a local history in which 
the progress of the district is depicted from the earliest period to the 
present day." 



Bowdon, a peep at the past, geological, historical, and romantic — 
Boaden Downs — Watling Street, signs of Roman occupation — The 
tumulus in the Park — An old Saxon coin — The Barons of Dunham, 
tlieir position and power— The Crusader's Cedar — The legend of 
the Seven Sisters — " The last of the Barons "... ... ... 1 


The Parish Church, its claims to antiquity — The yew trees, a relic of 
Sa.xon Christianity — The wakes, their origin and use — An old bead 
roll and its record — Description of the old church — Value of the 
living six centuries ago — The ringers' orders — A law suit — 
Another bead roll and its record — Memorials of old families — 
The Brereton monument— The Dunham Chapel, etc 16 


Description of the old church, continued— The tales told by the 
tombstones and the tablets — A curious old stone, etc 29 


The Parish Church, its restoration — Reminders and relics of antiquity- 
Description of restored edifice — Tablets to the Ven. Archdeacon 
Pollock, and to the first Vicar of St. Margaret's — The stained glass 
windows and their donors — A run through the registers — Curious 
and interesting extracts— The Bowdon proverb— Notices of Vicars, 
with list — The ancient rating valuation, or mize, list of benefac- 
tions, etc 38 


Altrincham 600 years ago— The ancient charter— Sanjam Fair- 
Election of Mayor, form of an oath and proclamation — The Court 
of Pye Powder — Importance of the Bellman — A Mayor's wisdom — 
The Earl's Christmas box — Sayings regarding the Mayor — Election 
of Burgesses — Progress of the trust and its disposal — (Government 
enquiries and their result— List of Mayors— Abolition of Sanjam 
Fair 60 



A retrospect— Sundry lawsuits— The first Booth of Dunham Massey ; 
his supposed death at the Battle of Blore Heath — A Booth 
knighted by Queen Elizabeth— Interesting wills— Dame Booth's 
Charity — Contributions to the defence of the Kingdom — Dr. Dee's 
reference to Sir Geo. Booth— Purchase of the town of Warrington ; 
the instructions thereon — Death of William Booth 85 


Birth of Sir George Booth, first Lord Delamer — Description of Sir 
William Brereton — Indictment against Sir George ; his part in 
attempting to pacify the county — Its failure — The siege of Nant- 
wich --Spirited defence— Defeat of the Royalists— Sir George elected 
member for Cheshire ; his exclusion by Colonel Pride's purge — 
Royalist attempts at a Restoration— Sir George's celebrated 
rising — The Battle of Winnington — His betrayal and arrest ; his 
committal to the Tower — Release and re-election — His improve- 
ments at Dunham — Description of the old mansion — His death ... 98 


The second Lord Delamer ; his popularity ; his advocacy of the people's 
rights— Court jealousy— His committal to the Tower on three 
occasions ; his remarkable trial at Westminster Hall ; his eloquent 
defence and justification ; his retirement to his seat in Cheshire ; his 
support of the Prince of Orange ; his subsequent honourable career 
and death ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 107 


The house of Dunham, continued — The Second Earl of Warrington ; 
his character and literary attainments — The union of the House of 
Dunham with that of Stamford — The Honourable Booth Grey — 
" Domestic happiness, a family picture " — The revival of the lapsed 
titles of Baron Delamer and Earl of Warrington — An Africander 
Earl— A romance of the peerage 120 


The Maceys of Altrincham— A rebellious subject— The Bowdon 
family — Disposal of lands— Some old district names— Bowdon free 
school — Bull and bear baiting — Guy Faux at Altrincham — A witty 
Bowdon Curate— The advance on Manchester by Lord Strange — 
The Unicorn Hotel 300 years ago— An Altrincham landlord and 
landlady of the olden time— Sir Peter Leycester's description 
of the town in 1666— The story of the "Bloody Field "—Adam 
Martindale at Dunham ; his duties there — Bowdon Dissenters 
troublesome— Dick Turpin ; his exploits at Newbridge Hollow and 

Hoo Green— Prince Charlie's Troops at Altrincham J 




Indications of growth and enterprise— The cutting of the Bridgewater 
Canal — A few figures — Manufacture of woollen and cotton yarn — 
Obsolete punishments : penance, cucking stool, scold's bridle, public 
whippings at the Altrincham Market place — Executions for 
burglaries at Bowdon— A man hanged for poaching near Altrinc- 
ham — The ancient custom of souling — The entertaining play of St. 
George and the dragon — Wassailing and Christmas carols — The 
barley hump and Dunham Ale — The lions of Dunham — Altrincham 
races — Dunham Parks and the Hall — De Quincy's description of 
Altrincham 139 


Ecclesiastical Altrincham ; The Wesleyan Methodist Churches — 
Wesley's visits to Altrincham— St. George's Church ; its Schools, 
etc. — An Altrincham Centenarian — The Unitarians ; their early 
history ; description of the New Chapel in Dunham Road— The 
Methodist Kew Connexion — The Independents or Congrega- 
tionalists, w'ith some notices of their Pastors and work — St. 
Margaret's, Dunham Massey — St. John's — St. Peter's, Peel Cause- 
way—The Old Downs Chapel— The Primitive Methodists— Baptists, 
etc 147 


More looks into old books — Visit of strolling players — Disappearance 
of town documents — Appointment of town's attorney — Wages a 
century ago — Disturbances in Altrincham — Another Altrincham 
industry — The fire engine — The old handcuffs — A jury list — The 
expenses of the great well— Altrincham highways indicted — Hard 
times ; a display of public spirit — The select vestry — Extracts 
from the books ; a stray parcel of gloves — How the town got a 
sun-dial -Substitutes for the Militia— Disrespect for proclama- 
tions— A worthy overseer— Dread of Hydrophobia, etc 175 


Description of Altrincham and Bowdon 60 years ago — The Old Market 
Place ; its ancient cross, lockups, and Star chamber — Higher Town 
boys V. those of Lower Town— The town field -An Altrincham 
Carnival -The loyalty of the town — The first Altrincham under- 
taker— Altrincham woolcombers and their Bishop Blaize festival — 
Bowdon bull baiters and Altrincham cockfighters — Salt works 
at Dunham— The destruction of small birds— The churchwardens 
and their duties — Formation of the Altrincham Poor La«' Union ; 
the old workhouse and its management — Cutting of the Bowdon 
line — Lloyd's Hospital — Introduction of coal gas into Altrincham — 
Formation of the Gas Company ; negotiations for the purchase 


of the works and their results — Altrincliam and Bowdon Literary 
Institution ; Free Library and Technical Schools — Royal Visit — 
Formation of the Altrincham Parliamentary Division ; its members, 
past and present— The electric light, etc 188 


What Sale was ; a glance at the past ; the Masseys of Sale — a gracious 
permission to marry from the Pope — A reminiscence of the civil 
war ; Lord Strange at Ashton-on-Mersey — Some looks into old 
township books— The official mole catcher — Sale "Vineyards" — 
Constables' staves — The poor law and its administration — 
troublous times — A lady's interest in township matters — A local 
Hampden, Sale township schools— Sale Volunteers, past and 
present — Sale Burial Board, etc 223 


Ashton-on-Mersey and its parish — The beginnings of modern non- 
conformity — Old Cross Street Chapel — Some notices of old Vicars — 
Restoration of St. Martin's— St. Anne's ; St. John's, Brooklands ; 
St. Paul's ; St. Mary's; Wesleyanism ; Congregationalism — Sale 
Local Board — Progress of Sale — Sanitary arrangements, etc. ... 241 


Wythenshawe Hall— Carrington Moss, with an account of Carrington 
fight, a memorable local event— Manchester Ship Canal — A Bishop 
from Partington— Baguley Hall pnd the Leighs— Riddings Hall — 
The Gerrards and the Vaudreys— Edleston's Lepidoptera of the 
Bollin Valley ; ornithology etc. — Ashley Hall, a notable meeting ; 
a little known tragedy— The murder at the Bleeding Wolf, etc. ... 257 


Cheshire County Council— Bucklow Union and Rural District Council — 
Magistrates for Altrincham Division— Altrincham Local Board; list 
of members and contested elections, etc. — List of towns and villages 
in the neighbourhood, with population, acreage, rateable value, 
distances from Chester, Altrincham, etc.— Sale Local Board; list 
of members— Altrincham, Bowdon, and Sale Urban District 
Councils, etc.— Debts of local authorities 29.3 



Bowdon Church, 1858 Frontispiece 

Burying Lane (now The Firs), Bowdon 25 

Bowdon Parish Church— restored 38 

St. Margaret's Church, Dunham 46 

Scolds' Bridles 75 

Earl and Countess of Stamford 91 

Dunham Hall, 1697 62 

The Hall, Dunham Park 86 

Oldfield Hall, Altrincham 102 

Market Place, Altrincham, 1745 131 

Market Place, Altrincham, 1858 198 

Ashley Mill (now dismantled) 214 

Bowdon Wesleyan Chapel 149 

The Old Church, Ringway 156 

Eev. George London 151 

Bowdon Downs Congregational Church ; interior lighted by 

electricity 161 

St. Peter's Church, Peel Causeway 174 

The Old Church, Ashton-on-Mersey 179 

Altrincham in the Jubilee year; visit of the Prince of Wales... 195 

Altrincham Free Library and Technical School 211 

Past and Present Members for the Altrincham Parliamentary 

Division : — Sir William C. Brooks ; the late Mr. John 

Brooks; Mr. Coningsby Disraeli 217 

Lord Strange's Forces Crossing to Besiege Manchester 225 

Eeview of the Manchester and Salford Volunteers on Sale 

Moor, April 12th, 1804, by Prince William of Gloucester 237 

Lych Gate, Ashton-on-Mersey 242 

St. Anne's Church, Sale 247 

St. Mary's Church, Ashton-on-Mersey 253 

Wythen.shawe Hall 261 

Altrincham Electrical Works, Broadheath 271 

Rostherne Church 284 

Altrincham Cemetery Chapel, Hale 286 

Plan of Stamford Park, Altrincham 291 



Ahard winter 182, 183 

Advowson, Bo^ydon 12 

Altrincham, Free traffic granted 13 

Charter 60 to 82 

„ Landlord and landlady of olden time 134 

„ Sir Walter Scott's description of 134 

, , Sir Peter Leycester's description of 135 

,, Indications of progress 139 

Manufactures at 129, 139 

,, Races at 144 

,, Riots at 176 

,, De Quincy's description of 145 

Footpaths indicted 182 

Fire Brigade 177 

,, Sixty years ago 188 

Union 198 

, , Provident Dispensary 204, 205 

, , Introduction of coal gas 208 

Gas Company 209,210 

,, and Bowdon Literary Institute 210 

, , and Free Libraries Act 213 

,, Local Board, formation of 214 

,, List of members (see Appendix) 

,, Contested elections (see Appendix) 

,, Statement of debts, &c. (see Appendix) 

,, Urban District Council (see Appendix) 

, , Cemetery 221 

,, Inti eduction of electucitv 219,220 

Pai lumen tai y DiMSion " 216,219 

Appendix, 293 to 326 

Ashley ... 288 

„ Hall 289 

„ Church 290 

Ashton-on Meisey, Parish of 241 to 254 

Vicars 242 

,, Cross Stieet 245 

Ashton Wakes, incident of 228, 2'29 

Baguley 270 

Bank Hall, Hale 275 

Baptist Chapel, Bow don 173 

Banns, Curious mode of publication 44 

Barleyhump, The 143 

Beeston Castle 100 

Benefactions, Bowdon 59 

Bishop Blai/.e Festival 193 

BloodyField, Stoij of 133 

Booth, Dei l^atIon of 86 

„ John . 86 


Booth, William 86, 87, 88 

„ George 89, 95 

„ William 89 

„ Heniy 'M to 28 

,, Langliam 28 

,, SirGeoige 19, 98, 99 

,, Robeit 86, 87 

,, Sii (ieoige, defeat and cai)tuie of 103 

,, ,, giant by Pailuiment foi distinguiiilied sei vices 104 

death of 105 

„ Nathaniel 120 

Botany, of CotteuU, 4.c 276 

Bowdon, Dei nation of 1 

,, Doonibdaj Enti> 2 

Family of . 128 

Fiee School at 129 

,, Chinch 16 

,, Re-^toiation of 39 to 42 

„ Regivteis 43, 44, 46 

W aUes 194 

,, Li'-t of Vicai-. 58 

, , Notices of ')5 to 58 

Local Boaid 215 

,, Uiban District Council (sec Aiiptndix.) 

Bieieton. 21, 23, 269, 270 

,, Tidditions 21 

Sii William 21, 99 

,, Jane 21 

\\'illiain 21 

Briefs Collected . 54 

British Road 1. 2, 3 

Broadheath 3 

BuU Baiting at Bowdon 194 

Burgesses Election of . .73 

Burying in Linen ... 51 

Carrington Chapel 20 

Mo-^s 264, 205 

Fight 01 Feight 265, 266, 267 

Charities 206, 207, 208 

Chartists at Altiincham 202 

Charter, Altuncham (translation) 79, 80 

Civil War 100 

Congregational Chuiches 159, 101, 163, 164, 246, 247 

Cross Street Chapel 245, 246 

Curious Customs 143 

Court Leet, Altuncham 60 to 82 

,, .Maj oral Oath 02 

,, ,, riochimation . 03 

„ „ Uses of 63,64 

LXDEX. xiii. 


Court Leet, Duties of Members 70 to 74 

, , , , ilayor's Land Charity 7S, 79 

Cock Fighting at Altrincham 194 

Delamer, Lord 117 

Trialof 108toll6 

Created Earl of Warrington 117 

,, His views on Monarchy 118 

Prayers, &c 117, 118 

Destruction of small Birds 198 

Dick Turpin at Hoo Green 137 

Dunham Castle 8 to 13 

,, Doomsday Entrj- 7 

,, Hall, Ancient Mansions 105 

„ Ale 143 

Executions for Burglaries at Bowdon 142 

Extracts from old Minute Books 184 to 187 

Gerrard of Riddings 21 

Grey, Hon. Booth 69, 121 

,, Familj-, Antiquity of 121 

„ Lady jane ' 121 

„. Rev. Harry, Eight Earl, a Romance of the Peerage 123 

, , Pedigree, to face page 127 

Guy Fawkes at Altrincham 130, 134 

Hale Barns 285, 286 

Linen Manufacture 129 

Lloyd's Hospital 204 

Masey or Massey of Dunham 6 

,, Reference to 11 to 15 

Massey of Sale 222 to 227 

Manchester Ship Canal 2(J7, 208, 269 

Minute Books, Disappearance of 175 

Mayor's Land Charity (see Court Leet) 

Manor of Dunham 85 

Manchester South Junction & Altrincham Railway 202, 203 

Martindale, Adam, at Dunham 135, 136 

Methodist New Connexion 159 

Members of Parliament 216, 219 

Mize, or old rate 59 

Oldest Tombstone 33 

Old Tombstones, Inscriptions on 33 to 37 

Old Jury List 177 

Obsolete Punishments 140, 141 

Presbyterianism 173, 249 

Primitive Methodism 174, 249 

Prince Charles at Altrincham 138 

Queen's Jubilee Festivities 215 

Rateable Value (see Appendix) 

Rider, Bishop of Killaloc 269 

xiv. IMiEX. 


Roman Road 9 

,, Remains, Hale 285 

Roman Catholic Church 173 

Salt Works at Dunham 197 

Sale, Description of 222 

,, Family 224 

,, Overseers in 224 

, , Vineyards 228 

,, and Luddites 230 

,, Lady Overseer 231 

,, A \'illage Hampden 233 

,, New township schools 234, 235, 236 

„ Moor 236 

„ Burial Board 240 

,, Local Board 255, 256 

,, Urban District Council (see Appendix) 

St. Anne's, Sale 249, 250, 251 

St. Elizabeth's, Altrincham 172 

St. George's, Altrincham 150, 153, 154, 155 

,, Schools 154 

, , , , List of Ministers 155 

St. John's, Altrincham 171 

St. John's, Brooklands 251 

St. Margaret's, Dunham Massey 165, 166, 167, 168, 169 

Vicarsof 169, 170 

St. Mary's, Ashton-on-Mersey 252, 253 

St. Martin's ,, (see Ashton Parish) 

St. Paul's, Sale 252 

St. Peter's, Peel Causeway 174 

Select Vestry, Altrincham 199, 200, 201 

Sparrows, Destruction of 229 

Strange, Lord at Ashton 129, 130 

Tattons of Wythenshawe 22, 257, 258, 259, 260, 262 

Timperley 273 

Tumili and Urns, Dunham Park ., 3, 4 

Unitarian Chapels, Altrincham 155, 156, 157, 15S 

„ Sale 245, 246 

Vaudrey, Will of 273, 274 

Volunteer Movement, Sale 236, 239 

Vertebrate Fauna 276 to 283 

Watling Street 2, 3 

Warburton 23 

Wan-ington, Mary, Countess of 27 

Warrington, Purchase of 96 

,, Earldom extinct 120 

,, Earldom revived 123 

Wesley's visits to Altrincham 147, 148 

Wesleyan Methodism 147, 148, 149,249 

Wythenshawe Hall, &c 259 to 263 




Bowdon : — A peejj ai the piat, geological, historical, and romantic — 
Boaden Downs — TFatling Street, signs of Roman occupation — The 
tumulus in the Park— An old Saxon coin — The Barons of Dunham, 
their position and power — The Crusader's Cedar — The legend of the 
Seven Sisters — " The last of the Barons." 

BOAVDON, eight centuries ago, was spelled Bogedon, or the 
hill or down by a bog. It was so written in the Domes- 
day Book, and was comprised in the ancient Cheshire 
hundred of Bochelau, whence our modern Bucklow, in the eastern 
division of which it is still included. It has also been written 
Bodon, Bodeon, Bawdon, Boaden, Bauden, Boden, and Bowden ; 
but the modernized spelling of Bowdon now jirevails. This is 
derived from two Anglo-Saxon words signifying Bode, a dwelling, 
and don or dun, a plain upon a rising hill or down. 

Geologists tell us, with the charming uncertainty they always 
attach to their "periods," that Bowdon has little interest for 
them, — that it was once an enormous sandbank, left by the 
receding Avaves of a restless ocean, to be at a subsequent time 
transformed by the God of Nature into a lovely garden, the 
loveliness of which was to be heightened and enhanced l>y the 
ingenuity and art of man. 

It may be very safely assumed that it was not then the 
pleasant place of residence it has since become. It had not the 
same delightful prospects of pastoral scenery, of grassy plain and 


lovely woodland, hemmed in by masses of billowy vegetation. 
The prehistoric Bogedonian — if there was such a creature — 
looking southwards from the hill side, would have seen the waves 
beating at the foot of the vale, where the shingle of the sea beach 
was quite recently uncovered ; later still, he might have viewed 
what is now called Alderley Edge, and the more distant Mow 
Cop, looking out on a vast expanse of moor and morass, studded 
here and there with a consumptive dwarf oak ; but he could have 
formed no conception of the changes to be wrought, as if by fairy 
wand, in future ages. The " proud hill's crest " had not become 
dotted with those stately homes which in so marked a degree 
contribute to set off Nature's beauties. It had not even those 
prim ivy-covered quaint old houses which peep out at the passer- 
by from their nests of umbrageous foliage and over-hanging trees, 
as if very modesty prevented their coming to the front in all 
the boldness of modern paint and stucco. " Sleepy hollow," as 
Altrincham has been termed, was unknown, and that almost 
universal edible the potato did not flourish in unchecked luxu- 
riance on the Downs, and form a special cry in the adjacent 
market of Cottonopolis. All that can, with any degree of confi- 
dence, be relied upon as giving Bowdon a place in early English 
history is the mention of it which occurs in the Domesday Book, 
of which more hereafter, and when among other things, there was 
a Church and a Priest, with his half-a-hide of land, a hide being 
as much as one plough would cultivate in a year, 60 to 120 acres 
according to the peculiar reckoning of the times, and which said 
Priest lived contentedly amongst his meagre and widely-scattered 
flock, and was passing rich on the forty pounds a year of the 

There are, however, evidences of this portion of the district 
having been inhabited long before the Conquest. The British 
road, well known by the name of Watling Street, runs through 
it, and was adapted by the Romans to suit their own purposes. 
The ancient Roman Road, as traced by that eminent authority, 
Whitaker, commences at the ford of the Mersey called Stretford, 


continues to Broadhoath, where the Iloma.n Road keeps the 
middle of the heath, and was discovered on the cutting of the 
Bridgewater Canal which crosses its line. It is then seen in the 
enclosures about Oldfield Hall, and in crossing the Moss is known 
by the name of Ui^cast. It afterwards ascends the hill, enters 
(skirts) Dunham Park, passes on to Street head, and crossing the 
Bollin falls into the modern road at Newbridge Watkins, in 
his work on Roman Cheshire, published in 1886, has with pains- 
taking ability made this particular subject his own. The main 
road remains, so far as this district is concerned, pretty much as 
given above, but he adds, " There appear to have been two small 
roads branching ofl' to east from that between Manchester and 
Northwich at Dunham Park, one which for part of its length is 
now the modernised Long Lane, and seems to have led to a 
village at Hale, and may thence have been continued towards 
Wilmslow, where there is a Pepper Street. It would, before 
arriving at this point, cross the road from Stockport to Kinderton. 
The other, known as Peel Causeway, i.s only traceable as a frag- 
ment, and I am doubtful of its Roman origin." This part -ivas 
comprised in the Roman province of Flavia Caesariensis ; and 
subsequently, in the sixth centvu-y, by a course of events in which 
Britain had passed through the fiery ordeal of Saxon subjugation 
and civil Avar, it became included in the Kingdom of Mercia. No 
doubt, the army of Danes, who are said to have taken possession 
of Chester in the latter end of the year 894 (according to the 
Saxon chronicle), marched through it from Northumberland. 
There are still most conclusive evidence of Saxon and Danish 
occupation in the tumuli or barrows which are to be seen in 
Dunham New Park. One of them is marked on the Ordnance 
Survey Map, and there are also others near Bollington and at 
Baguley, but both these are either more level, or considerably 
reduced in size. These tumuli are the most ancient form of burial 
places known, and were in extensive use amongst the Romans and 
Danes, who probably derived it in their turn from the Greeks, 
for the custom is mentioned by Homer. Some of these tumuli, 


as at Marathon, are very large, and it is said that the higher they 
are the greater must the deceased have been held in esteem by 
their fellows. The tumulus marked on the Ordnance Survey 
Map exists on the north side of the New Park, and is known 
more generally by the name of Beech Mount, being marked by a 
clump of these noble trees, some of which are beginning to exhibit 
signs of decrepitude and old age. In his work, "Britannia 
Komana," published by Horsley in 1732, he refers to this, when 
discussing the place where the Eoman station, Condate, — the 
exact site of which has been the subject of much controversy 
amongst antiquarians — shall lie placed. He says : — " The urns 
which have been found, and the barrows that are in Dunham 
Park, belonging to the Earl of Warrington, and the military way 
near it, render it highly probable that the Eoman Eoad has gone 
directly from Manchester to Chester through or near to North- 
wich, the piece of Eoman Eoad by Altrincbam pointing directly 
towards Chester and Manchester, and not at all towards Congleton. 
It is in the middle of a field near the road which now leads from 
Manchester to Chester and is called the Street. This leaves little 
room to doubt that the military road, and consequently, the iter 
(way) has proceeded this way to Chester, which is also further 
confirmed by the name of Stretford on the Mersey." 

Thus, in a somewhat interesting manner, is related an 
important fact. It is in this road that the Eomans have left a 
mark of their enduring greatness, when all appearances of ancient 
Saxon power have been completely effaced. These urns speak to 
us of Eome in her palmy days ; but the mounds tell a story 
which extends beyond. Imagination pictures a somewhat rugged 
country, studded with the kraals or mud dwellings of the 
aboriginal inhabitants, — a time when, according to Lucian, the 
monk, the County of Chester exported slaves and horses. Near 
the great highroad would be the dwelling of the hardy chieftain. 
At his death, guided by those aesthetic tastes instinct even in 
savage nations, the nearest spot on which nature had greatly 
lavished her beauties would be selected for his burial place, and 


at what would then Ije the head of a mossy dell would his remains 
be laid. There would be the long procession of bearded warriors 
and slaves, headed by weirdly robed priests, who, amidst meanings 
and lamentations, would perform, with mysterious and perhaps 
ghastly rites, the last offices for the dead. The huge tumulus 
would be raised, with nothing but its height to remind the people 
that buried greatness there reposed in its last long sleep ; with 
no image or legendary scroll to record, for the information of 
succeeding generations, the names and deeds of the mighty 
dead ; his very remembrance would in time be blotted out. But 
he would have a grand burial place, not perhaps graced with the 
virtues of consecration, except in the sense in which Nature 
reflects Nature's Deity. There, we may leave him in Nature's 
presence-chamber itself, — and if we could have seen it then, 
standing out like the refreshing greenery of the desert oasis, in 
"the forest primeval," where 

The murmuring pines and the hemlocks 
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, 
Stand like Druids of old, with voices s:»d and prophetic ; 
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms. 

Another interesting memento of the ancient associations 
of Bowdon may here be mentioned. Several years ago, a 
bystander, who was watching the sexton of the Parish Church 
open out a grave, observed in one of the shovels full of earth 
thrown out, something black and round. This, on rubbing, gave 
out a bright appearance, and, on being placed in the hands of an 
antiquary, proved to be a silver penny of Eadmund, one of the 
early Saxon Kings, and grandson of Alfred the Great. On the 
obverse was Eadmund Ec.r, in the centre being a small cross. On 
the reverse, amongst other things, was the word Ingel || Gar, 
M T., or really Ingelgar Moneyer. Probably the sandy soil 
into which the coin had been dropped prevented corrosion, as it 
was in an admirable state of preservation. The capital letters 
were well formed, and differed very little from our modern ones. 


except the G, which was very square in form, and the M, which 
consisted of two outer stems like capital Fs connected not by an 
inner acute angle like a V, but by a slight curve or festoon at the 
top. This Ingelgar was, during the years 941-945, a moneyer 
to Anlaf, at that period King of Northumbria, who, in the latter 
year, was expelled by Eadmund. Ingelgar, in addition to Anlaf, 
was moneyer to three other Kings ; Eric, also a King of 
Northumbria, and to Eadmund, and his brother and successor 
Eadred. The coin was thought to have been struck at Man- 
chester, on account of its proximity to Bowdon; but as there 
was also a Mint at Chester, there is no conclusive evidence on 
this point. 

We now leave for the present speculation behind, and proceed 
to the consideration of authentic records. With the advent of 
William the Conqueror, and the consolidation of his power in 
England, we see the establishment of a feudalism which was to 
leave its mark and impress on the people to our own time. The 
County of Chester, which was then looked upon in the light of a 
little kingdom, was amongst the last in England to yield to his 
army, and the city did not fall into his hands until 1070. 
Shortly afterwards the Earldom of Chester was given by the 
King to his nephew, Hugh D'Avaranches, son of Kichard Gosse, 
and surnamed Hugh la Loup, or Hugh Lupus, on account of his 
bearing a wolf's head on his shield. The Earl had his Council of 
Barons spiritual and temporal, with all the usual officers of the 
Court and a reigning Sovereign. The County was parted 
amongst the Normans, and the old Saxon possessors turned out. 
Amongst the Normans in the Koll of Battle Abbey, quoted by 
Hollinshed, appears the name of Hamoimd. This again is given 
in ancient charters as Hamund ; and as he was a most important 
personage, it is beyond doubt that he is the same Hamunde or 
Hamo who held the Barony of Doneham or Dunham, at the time 
of Domesday Survey, in 1086, and who dwelt at the Castle, 
which in all probability was founded by a Saxon predecessor. 
These Barons held their Lordships from the Earl of Chester, and 


the tenants of the farms from the barons. In an old poem written 
about 300 years ago, it is said of the first Earl of C'hester, that 

On Hamon Massy he did bestow 

The Dunham Massy barony ; 
To whom there did succeed in xowe 

Five heires of his successively. 
From henceforth 'inongst the female heires 

It scattered was for many years ; 
Yet most part, after ages passed, 

T(i Fitton of BoUin came at last. 

Another version gives it : -- 

Vpon Hughe Massey he did bestow 

the Dunham Massey barronye, 
to M'hom their did succeed in row 

8 (5) lieyres of his successivelye ; 
from thenceforth mongst the femall heyres 

it scattered was for many yeeres, 
yet most part after ages past 

a Bootlic of Du[n]ham came at last. 

The entry in Domesday Book says that Hamon holds 
Doneham ; Eluard held it, and was a freeman ; there is one hide 
of land rateable to the gelt ; the land is three carucates ; one is 
demesne; and there are two neatherds, two villeins, and one 
bordar ; and one acre of wood, and one house in the city (of 
Chester) ; in the time of King Edward it was worth 123. ; now 
10s. It was waste. 

It also states that the same Ilamo " holds JJogedone ; 
Eluard held it and was a free man ; there is one hide rateable 
to the gelt ; the land is two carucates ; there are two foreigners 
having one carucate ; there is a priest and a church to which 
half this hide belongs ; also a grinding mill rendering IG pence ; 
it was waste, and so [the Earl] found it.'' 

It may be well to explain the meaning of one or two of these 
terms. The quantity of a hide, as has been already mentioned, 
appears to have varied considerably. The land rateable to the 


gelt was that which was taxed for the purpose of subsidizing the 
invading Danes, and a carucate, or caroe, or ploughlatid, was 
generally eight oxgangs, or bovates — 224 acres. There do not 
seem to have been any radmen or roadmen in either township, 
although there was one in Hale : but those of a lower order, viz., 
neatherds, etc., are noted. Radmen were those who served their 
superior lords on horseback, and were freemen in a certain sense. 
Villeins were those whose estate of vassallage almost amounted to 
slavery ; neatherds or bovarii were employed in attending to the 
cattle, and in other servile work ; and bordars, or boors, held 
small portions of land, and were probably bound to supply the 
table of the Lord of the Manor with eggs, poultry, &'c. 

That historian and antiquarian imr e.rcellenre, Sir Peter 
Leycester, shrewdly guesses that Hamon the Norman dispossessed 
Eluai'd the Saxon of his lands in this neighbourhood, after 
having had them "given " to him by the Earl ; but in addition to 
these he held Hale, Ashley, half of Owlerton — now Ollerbarrow — 
Bromhale, Puddingtou in Wirrall, and other lands, by military 
service ; he being bound to attend the King in time of war with 
a certain number of horse and foot, and immediately repair to the 
King's summons with his whole posse should an enemy's army 
come into Cheshire, or should Chester Castle lie besieged. An 
engraving in King's " Vale Eoyal" represents the Earl of Chester 
in Parliament assembled, his eight barons seated on each side of 
him, and amongst them, the first on his left-hand side, 
distinguished by his arms — quarterly, gules and or, in the first 
quarter a lion passant, argent, — is to be seen Hamo of Dunham. 
At the barrier which divides the room into two portions, are a 
number of adherents, who appear to be pressing their claims to 
lands, which having been won by the sword, will be so held and 
esteemed good title to them in the future. 

The Castle of Dunham was greatly strengthened by Hamon, 
so as to resist successfully the marauding propensities of 
avaricious neighbours. He was one of the most influential of 
the barons, from the fact of his Castle being situated near the 


giu;it Ifomaii road, it formed a powerful position of defence in 
case of invasion. Tiie counties palatine, says one writer, were 
judged to be in greater danger than the others, and greater 
attention therefore was paid to their defences. The adjoining 
County Palatine of Lancaster was .surrounded by a chain of forts, 
one of which was at Widnes, where a baron was stationed to 
protect that side from the incursions of the Cheshire people ; and 
the jealousy being mutual, opposite to this on the Cheshire side 
was Halton Castle, placed in such a manner as to guard the 
county from any surprise either from AVarrington, another 
Lancashire barony, or Runcorn Ferry. The next barony was 
Newton, erected as well to strengthen "\\'arrington as to oppose 
any passage out of Cheshire, and opposite to this was placed 
Hamon at Dunham. Hamon in his lifetime gave to St. 
Werburgh's at Chester, the village of Northerden (Northenden), 
in the Maxfield or Macclesfield Hundred. He had a son and 
heir, named after him, Hamon, and also Robert Massey, who was 
a witness to the first Randle's charter of confirmation to the 
Abbey of St. Werburgh in Chester, about a.d. 1124. 

The second Hamon had issue, Hamon, a son and heir, and 
Robert Massey, from whom sprang the Massseys of Sale. This is 
probably the Hamon ^lassey who is noticed in one of the ancient 
chronicles as having held the Castle of Dunham against Henry H. 
in 1173, dtuing the rebellion of which Hugh, Earl of Chester, 
was principal leader. He gave the lands of Bramhall, or Bromale, 
to Matthew de Bromale by charter, of which the following is a 
translation : — 

Hamo de Masci to all his friends, both clerical and lay, as well 
present as to come, sends greeting. Know ye all that I have 
granted, &c., to Matthew de Bromale, Bromale and Dokenfeld 
and two parts of Baguley, which his father held of me and my 
heirs in fee [Ijy the service] of a breastplate [meaning that he 
should rendei- or pay for his lands a man armed with a breast- 
jilatc for militaiT defence, or its equivalent in money, at a later 
period, eveiy year] to him and his heirs, to hold of me and my 


heirs freely and quietly, &c., making to me and my heirs the free 
service in fee of one breastplate ; and know ye that I have quit 
claimed the said Matthew and his heirs and the aforesaid lands, 
to me and my heirs, of the service and custom which I, the said 
Hamo, usetl to demand from them, namely, of ploughing, 
mucking, and sowing corn, and of making hay, and doing homage 
of estovers [providing food], pannage, and of all other services 
except the service of the fee of one breastplate. These being 
witnesses : Eoger de Massie, William de Carington, Robert de 
Massie, and Richard de Fitton, and very many others, both 
seeing and hearing the same. 

The third Hamon married Agatha de Theray, and had several 
children, the eldest of whom was a son named after his father. 
He died about the end of the reign of King John, or the begintiing 
of that of Henry HI., and his wife Agatha survived him. He is 
said to have given to his brother John Massey all the land of 
Moreton. He also confirmed to Robert, son of Waltheof or 
Fitz Waltheof, all his father's lands in Bredbury, Brinnington, 
and Etchells, by a very interesting charter, which has been 
translated as follows : — 

Hamo de Masci to all his men, whether French or English, 
clerical or lay, as well in the future as now living, sendeth 
greeting. Be it known to you all that I have regrantcd to Robert, 
the son of Waltheof, all the land which Waltheof, his father, held 
of me and my ancestors for his inheritence, that is to say 
Hecheles (Etchells) with all that appertains to it, to him and his 
heirs, holding of me and my heirs freely, quietly, and peaceably, 
by the service of half a knight's fee. And I [the said] Hamu 
reserve to my own use, stag, hind and boar in Hulreswood, and 
the other liberties shall remain to Robert, the son of Waltheof, 
and his heirs. And I [the said] Hamo, regrant to Robert, the 
son of Waltheof, Bredburie and Brinintone, with their appurten- 
ances, as his inheritence to him and his heirs, to hold of me and 
my heirs, l)y the service of carrying my bed, my arm.'5 or my 
clothing, whenever the Earl [of Chester] in his own pi'oper person 


shall go into Wales. And I [the said] Hauio will fully furnish 
[the said] Robert, the son of Waltheof, and his heirs, with a 
sumpter beast, and a man and a sack, and we will find estovers 
[sufficient food] for the man and the sumpter beast aforesaid 
whilst he is with us in the field, until he shall be returned to the 
said Robert or his heirs. And Robert, the son of Waltheof, 
shall pay aid to ransom my body from captivity and detention, 
and to make my eldest son a knight, and to give my eldest 
daughter a marriage portion, in consideration of which [the said] 
Robert has given me a gold ring. 

The conditions named in this charter were usual tuider the 
feudal system, when the kingdom was really the encampment of 
a great army and military ideas predominated. While the vassal 
was thus bound to render service to his lord, and to attend as 
assessor in his court of justice, the lord in his turn was bound to 
afford him protection in case of his fief being attacked ; but the 
defence of each other's person was reciprocal. 

As freedom broadens down, we frequently find in subsequent 
writings the Barons of Dunham conceding to their squires the 
right that neither they nor their heirs or tenants shall be 
impleaded or brought to trial for any ottence in the Court at 
Dunham, which was a most valuable right, as the barons had 
most extraordinary privileges, on their own estates, and in their 
hands was reposed the power of life and death. So late as the 
year 1597 this right was exercised in the Baronial Court of 
Kinderton, where Hugh Stringer was tried for murder, convicted 
and executed. 

It was probably about this period that Roger de Masci, of 
Hale, son of Geffrey ^lasci (being possessed of one half the lands 
in " Bodeon "), sold them unto Agatha de Massey for the sum of 
£,i 7s. in money, and two robes, one for himself and the other 
for his wife, " rending therefor yearly one pound of camming 
seed at the feast of Saint Martin." These lands, Agatha, by 
another deed, in which she styles herself de Theray, gave to 
Robert her younger son, whom she made heir thereof by the 
consent of Hamon, her eldest son. 


supposed to be the last relic ; ami tradition attirms that a fine 
old cedar, long, long ago killed by the ivy, was brought a sapling 
from the Holy Land by one of the old crusading Barons of 
Dunham, and that it died out with the last of the race ! 
Probably, too, the fact of the last of these barons dying without 
leaving a lawful son to succeed him, gave rise to the romantic 
legend of the " Seven Sisters," in connection with the park at 
Dunham, where there is a clnmp of trees which is known by this 
name. Many people are acquainted with it, and, no doubt, 
lament the tragic end of the youthful heir, who was struck dead 
l)y lightning just as he was passing the " Seven Sisters." 

And each fatal tree was stained with gore ; 

And so was the bloody earth ; 
And the same night saw his dreadful deatli 

That first beheld his birth. 

And the legend closes ; - 

The seven sister trees may still be .seen, 

Though the mortal ones are fled ; — 
And none of that fated house were left, 

When tlie squire himself dead. 

Hamon also reminds us in a most striking manner of 
Jjongfellow's melodious poem, " The Norman Baron." We can 
well picture to ourselves the stately Castle of Dunham. In his 
chamber on Christmas Eve, lies the dying baron. The King of 
Terrors has already laid his relentless hand upon him ; and the 
humble monk, seated by the bed side, mutters the " pra^-er and 
pater noster " which shall usher the fast fleeting soul into 
Eternity. Outside, the tempest thunders, and shakes the Castle 
turret, l)ut the sufterer is unmindful of it. Within its precincts 
serf and vassal arc holding their Christmas festival. As their 
lays they chaunt, the sound rises above that of the tempest, and 
the dying baron turns his weary head to listen to the carol, in 


supposed to be the last relic : and tradition affirms that a 'fine 
old cedar, long, long ago killed by the ivy, was brought a sapling 
from the Holy Land by one of the old crusading Barons of 
Dunham, and that it died out with the last of the race ! 
Probably, too, the fact of the last of these barons dying without 
leaving a lawful son to succeed him, gave rise to the romantic 
legend of the " Seven Sisters," in connection with the park at 
Dunham, where there is a clump of trees which is known by this 
name. Manj' people are acquainted with it, and, no doubt, 
lament the tragic end of the youthful heir, who was struck dead 
by lightning just as he was passing the " Seven Sisters." 

Anil each fatal tree was stained with gore : 

And so was the bloodj- earth : 
And the same night saw his dreadful deatli 

That first beheld his birth. 

And the legend closes ; - 

The seven sister trees may still be seen, 

Thongli the mortal ones are fled ; — 
And none of that fated house were left, 

When the squire himself was dead. 

Hamon also reminds us in a most striking manner of 
Longfellow's melodious poem, "The Norman Baron." We can 
well picture to ourselves the stately Castle of Dunham. In his 
chamber on Christmas Eve, lies the dying baron. The King of 
Terroi-s has already laid his relentless hand upon him ; and the 
humble monk, seated by the bed side, mutters the " prayer and 
pater noster " which shall usher the fast fleeting soul into 
Eternity. Outside, the tempest thunders, and shakes the Castle 
turret, but the sufferer is unmindful of it. Within its precincts 
serf and vassal are holding their Christmas festival. As their 
lays they chaunt, the sound rises above that of the tempest, and 
the dying baron turns his weary head to listen to the carol, in 





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which is heralded the birth of the manger-cradled stranger, 
Christ, who was born to set us free. In an instant, the spirit of 
repentance appears. He thinks of the justice, long withheld, due 
to those under his iron rule, and they are by him freed again. 
As on the sacred missal he inscribes their freedom, death relaxes 
his iron features, and the monk repeats a deep Amen. 

Many centuries have been numbered 

Since in death the baron slumbered, 

By the convent's sculptured portal, 

Mingling with the common dust : 

But the good deed, through the ages 
Living in historic pages, 
Brighter grows and gleams immortal, 
Unconsumed by moth or rust. 


The Parish Church : — Its claims to aiitiquili/ — The i/etc trees, a relic 
cf Saxon Christianity —The wakes, their origin and use — Jn old bead 
roll and its record — Description of the old church — Falue of the living 
six centuries ago — The ringers' orders — A law suit — Another bead roll 
and its record — Memorials of old families — The Brereton monuments — 
The Dunham Chapel, dr. 

IT is not stated precisel\' when the (Jhuich of Bowdon was 
originally founded. It cannot boast a date like that at 
Eostherne, of 1188, although, there is no doubt, Bowdon is 
much older ; neither is it recorded that it had " a priory of 
regular canons of the Order of St. Augustine," like its relation at 
Mobberley, or any of the Pra3monstatensians, such as dwelt at 
Warburton, anciently spelled Wurburgetone ; but it is certain 
that at the Domesday Survey, as already noticed, there was a 
priest attached to the church, munificently endowed, probaljlj- 
with many " fat fallows." It is also certain that the church 
existed a long time prior to the Conquest. The planting of yew 
trees in churchyards, on account of their sombre and funereal 
aspect, is a relic of the Saxon Christianity which had spread over 
the land, and the custom prevailed at Bowdon. There are two 
or three in tiie churchyard, and one in particular is, judging 
from calculations made of the growth of such trees, upwards of 
800 years old. According to one authority, it is even said to 
have been planted in the seventh century. It is a gnarled sturdy- 
looking veteran, but much the worse for its thousand years' 
(supposed) exposure on the hilltop. 

The view from the churchyard is the finest in the district. 
It embraces a vast expanse of lovely scenery, including the 
beautiful valley of the BoUin, backed in the distance by Alderley 
Edge, the hills of Derbyshire and Stafl'ordshiie, and many other 
features of interest. The church is dedicated to St. Mary, whose 


"feast" is kept annually by wakes held in the month of September. 
This feast was formerly celebrated on the 8th September, being 
the nativity of the Virgin, but it is now held on the 1st Sunday 
after the full moon succeeding the Hth September. The event, 
however, now evokes little or no interest. Leycester says that 
the word Wakes or fast day is derived from the Latin Vigilfe a 
Vigilando, because at such times people prayed most on the night 
before such fast day in the churches : "yet we find this primi- 
tive custom abused in the reign of King Edgar, A.D. 967, and at 
last it turned into a feasting and merriment of neighbours." AVho 
will .say after this that history does not repeat itself ? 

From extracts taken from the Bead Koll, A.D, 1298, it is 
shown that " Robertus de ilasci, by ye consent of his wife and 
heirs male of his body, gave and devised unto Adam de Bodon, 
two oxganges (56 acres) of land in Bodon, rending yearly one 
penny upon the Altar of St. Mary the Virgin at Bodon on the 
nativity of St. Mary the Virgin, which is the eighth day of 
September in perpetual alms for the Salvation of the Souls of 
Robertus de Masci, his wife, ancestors and heirs, and for the souls 
of Mathew de Bodon and Hale." Baron Masci, son and heir to 
the fourth Hamon de Masci, gave to God, the blessed Virgin 
Mary, and St. James, and to the Prior and Convent of Birkenhead 
half-an acre of land in Doneham Masci, together with the advow- 
son of the church of our good lady Saint Mary in Bowdon, A.D. 
1278 ; "for in that year was Richard Masci, one of the witnesses. 
Sheriff of Chester." After the dissolution of the Abbeys in the 
reign of Henry VIII , a new Bishopric was created at Chester, 
whereunto was given amongst other things the church of Bowdon. 

The advowson of the Vicarage continues attached to the See 
of Chester. The latter is held by lease of lives by the Earl of 
Stamford and Warrington. The church was valued in the tax 
roll of Pope Nicholas in the thirteenth century at £11 6s. 8d., 
and at £24: per annum in the King's book. In 1666, according 
to Sir Peter Leycester, it was £120 per annum ; two hundred 
years or so later it is given at £900 in the Clergy List. 



A description of the church as it anciently stood will not be 
found uninteresting. The exterior was chiefly in the Xorman 
style of architecture, introducing at the eastern termination, or 
at the Carrington and Dunham Chancels, the pointed and more 
fanciful Gothic. The tower was also in the Norman style 
embattled and quadrangular, and contained a peal of sonorous 
bells. In the belfry is the following : — 

You ringers all, observe these orders well — 
He pays his sixpence that o'erturns a bell, 
And he that rings with either spur or hat 
Must pay his sixpence certainly for that ; 
And he that rings and does disturb the peal 
Must pay his sixpence or a gun of ale. 
These laws elsewhere in every church are used. 
That bells and ringers may not be abused. 

James Millatt, Ferdinand Laughton, George Wright, 
and James Fletcher, Churchwardens : Joseph Drink- 
water, John Pickering, Aaron Eccles, Peter Picker- 
ing, John Dean, John Hobbert, Parish Ringers. 

Formerly, the sixth bell was tolled for a funeral, and after 
being tolled (if for a male) the whole six bells were tolled thrice 
each ; (if for a female) only twice each. The curfew was rung 
on the fifth bell, and the practice is still continued, although the 
day of the month is not tolled as it was up to 1864: or 186.5. 

The interior of the church consisted of a nave, chancel, and 
side aisles with spacious galleries ending in two private chancels 
appropriated and belonging to the Lords of Dunham Massey. 
Kegarding these chancels, it appears that a dispute arose at the 
death of John Carrington, between his executors and the Brereton 
family, as to the right of legal possession of Carrington chapel, 
dedicated to St. Nicholas. The Breretons claimed it by reason 
of being possessed of one-fourth of the lands in Bowdon, and the 
Booth family by heirship. The enquiry in 1557 by the Court of 
Chancery, resulted in the claim of the latter family being con- 
firmed. These chapels were divided from the rest of the church 
the Dunham one by two pointed arches and the Carrington one 


by three, resting on short octagoncal pillars. Connected with 
them were original]}' two chantry priests, John Percivall and 
Henry Tipjjing. 

There was also a liead roll belonging to the chantry to the 
following effect : — 

Pray for ye good estate of me, Sr. Wm. Booth, Maude my wife, 
Lawrence Bishoiie, George sonne and heir apparent of me, ye said Wm., 
Katherine his wife, Vfm. sonne of the said George Bouthe, Richard 
Bouthe, John Boutlie, and Wm. Bouthe, sonnes of me yt said Wm. Geffrey 
Bouthe and Hamnett Boutlie, Gierke?, brethren of yt sd Sr. Wm. Bouthe, 
Lucy late wife of John Chantrill, Ellen wife of Robert Leigh, and Allison 
wife of Robert Hesketh, sisters of me yt said Wm. Thomas Duncalfe and 
James Hall, p'sones of Northen, for ye souls late of my father and mother, 
that is to .=ay, Robert Bouthe, Knt, Jane his wife, Wm. Bouthe late Arch- 
bishop of York, Rafe Bouthe my sonne, Jonet, late wife of Will Holte, my 
daughter Kate Bouthe, Mr. Edmond Bouthe Clarke, Piers Bouthe Clerk, 
and Robert Bouthe brethren of me, ye said Wm , Jonet late wife of Will., 
Mainwaringe, and Margaret late wife of James Scaresbrooke, my susters, 
and especially for all the 

There was formerly an inscription over this chapel : — 

This is Dunham Chapel, repaired by and belonging to the Lords of 
Dunham Massey. 

The arms of the Booths, surmounting with the motto, " Quod 
ero spero " ; and on the other : — 

This is Carrington Chapel, repaired by and belonging to the Lords of 
Dunham and Carrington. 

In the chapel belonging to Sir George Bouthe, " on a faire 
stone of marble with beasts about it," was " the picture of a man 
and woman engraven in brass." The "two recumbent figures 
had clasped hands : the male figure in plate armour, under his 
feet six kneeling figures (infants), and seven under those of his 
wife ; in three angles of the tomb, the arms of Massey of Done- 
ham, quartering those of the Bouthes, and the fourth, those of 
Butler, Baron of Warrington." The inscription translated read : — 

Of your charity pray for the souls of George Bouthe, E.squire, and 
Elizabeth his wife, and of the said Thomas Butler of Bewsey, Knt, which 
George and Elizabeth, had together at the time of the death of the said 
(ieorge Bouthe, three sons, George, Jo, and Robert. 


The Booths, at this time, api)eaf to have uscil the arms of the 
Norman founder of the Birony. 

In the east window were the words ; — 

Wch chapelle and chamber "as erected by Sr ^Vm. Booth, about 
Edn-ard IV. raigne. 

And in Latin the following : — 

Pray for the souls of Will Booth Knt, and Matilda his wife, daughter 
of John Dutton Escjr., and for the soul of Oeorge Booth, son and heir, who 
it is said built this chapel. 

There were other memorials existing in the same chapel in 
the 16th and 17th centuries. Upon an "alabaster stone" this 
monument, engraven with an inscription, about the stone : A 
knight in plate armour, recumbent, his head resting on a helmet, 
the crest of which is a lion passant, on each side a recumbent 
female ; over his head the coat of Mascy of Dunham ; over the 
dexter lady, argent, an eagle, displayed azure ; at her feet four 
children. Over the sinister lady the coat of Fitton, and at 
her feet four children. In Latin were the words : — 

Here lies the body of Sir William Booth, knight, who died on 9th 
Nov., 1519, and Margarete and Helena, wives of the said William : upon 
whose souls God be merciful. Amen. 

There was a little monument to two of the children of Sir 
George Bouthe, Francis and George, who died in infancy. There 
were no arms upon it, but two little children with two torches 
turned downwards. 

In the Carrington chapel were many similar inscriptions and 
arms of the Vawdreys, Baguleys, Leghs of Baguley, the Lords of 
Carrington, i<l-c. On the Carrington side of the chancel there is 
an ancient monument of the Brereton family erected in the years 
1627 to 1637. Although bearing marks of great exposure, suffi- 
cient of it is still to be seen to show that it is a real work of art. 
The husband and wife are recumbent, arrayed in robes and ruffles, 
peculiar to the time ; and underneath, in bas-relief, are their eight 
children in surcoats. The third holds a skull in his hands ; and 
between the sixth and seventh is an infant in swaddling clothes. 
There is impaled beneath a canopy of frieze in the arabesque, two 


escutcheons, Breieton and Warburton arms conjoined. The 
family arms are charged with 27 quarterings (18 Breretons and 
9 AYarburtons) impaling Hugh Lupus, Cholmondeley, Booth, 
Warburton, Egerton, and others : and there is a beautiful Latin 
inscription, of which the following is a translation : — 

Under this monument lie interred the bodies of Wm. Brereton, 
of Ashley, in the county of Chester, Esq., and Jane his wife ; 
the former of whom derived origin and descent from the ancient 
and illustrious family of Lord William Brereton, of Brereton, in 
the aforesaid county ; the latter was one of the daughters and 
coheiresses of Peter Warburton, of Arley, in the said county. 
Esquire, lately deceased. They bore male children, Eichard, 
Thomas, William (peacefully sleeping in the Lord) and Peter ; 
females, Frances, Maria, (also overcome by the bonds of death), 
Ann and Catherine. They enjoyed themselves in conjugal and 
chaste love ; they adhered strictly to and exercised the principles 
of the true and orthodox religion (as Christians ought to do) ; 
and having walked this life righteously and holy, are now awaiting 
the joyful and glorious resurrection by the body of Christ to be 
conveyed to the heavenly abode of rest, unto which they were 
called. Jane, his wife, died March 2nd, 1627, aged G3 years ; 
William died August 29th, 1630, also aged 63. 

There is a tradition concerning this couple that the wife, Jane 
Brereton, was murdered, and that her hands were cut off. There 
are no hands on the female effigy ; but it is just possible that it 
may have been an act of vandalism on the part of some evil- 
disposed persons in former times. 

While on the subject of the ch.iucel, it may bo mentioned that 
in the window in or about the year 1600, were five coats of arms. 
In the first, Tatton impaling Davenport ; second, Tatton impaling 
Booth ; third, the Bishopric of Chester ; fourth, Tatton impaling 
Fitton ; fifth, Tatton, with a label, impaling "Wairen. 

In the floor of the chancel, within the rails of the altai', was 
a somewhat curious inscription, in Latin : — 

In this place is interred the remains of — Gerrai-d, of Riddings tlio first 
and of that name — on the day in the year of our Lord 167-. 


Ill the body of the church, on the south side, there was a 
monument of >Sir William Bagule}^ Knight. It was a full-length 
eflSgy, cut in free stone, and represnted a warrior in mail. The 
surcoat and shield were emblazoned with the arms of Baguley, or 
Bagleigh. As it appeared to be in the way, it was taken out of 
the church, and for several years graced the grotto of a gentle- 
man's garden at Partington. It attracted some attention at a 
later period, and through the instrumentality of the late T. W. 
Tatton, Esq., of AVythenshawe, it ultimately found a more 
appropriate resting place at Baguley Old Hall, from whence the 
original had sprung. 

There must have been many representations on painted glass, 
for which Cheshire churches are famous, at Bowdon. In the head 
of the south aisle was a very ancient coat of arms of the 
Bagulej's ; under which was a memorial of the Leghs of Baguley ; 
underneath was a kneeling male figure with one son and four 
daughters kneeling behind him. In the second window on the 
south side. Sir Thomas Butler, in coat armour, with two sons and 
eight daughters kneeling behind him. In the west window were 
the arms of the Barony of Dunham Massey. In a higher window 
on the south side were certain coats of arms, and an inscription in 
Latin, desiring prayers for James Hall, Rector of Northen, who 
bequeathed the window. On the north side, in the second 
window from the " bell-house," as it is quaintly termed, were two 
kneeling figures, the man habited in a surcoat emblazoned with 
the arms of Ashley, with five sons and four daughters, ranged 
severally behind them. Over them were the arms of Ashley, an 
ashbranch with ash keys dependant. In Latin there was a 
request to pray for the souls of John Ashley and Alice, his wife, 
who caused the window to be erected A.D. 1530. In the next 
window on the north side, were the arms of the Carriugtons, 
quartering the same coat -with a helmet and crest over. In the 
compartment on the dexter side of the shield was a man in armour, 
kneeling, his surcoat emblazoned with the arms of Carrington, 
one son behind him in this compartment and another in the next. 


In the compartment on the other side were two kneeling females, 
their arms severally emblazoned with those of Brereton and 
Warburton. Behind the first was one daughter, and four behind 
the other. This was erected in 1530 hy the Carringtons. In 
another window on the north side were two figures kneeling on 
cushions. The male figure's surcoat was emblazoned with the 
arms of Ashton, and the dress of the female with that of Butler. 
Over them were the arms of Mascy of Dunham, quartering 
Ashton, Stayley, Fitton, and Thornton. Four sons and nine 
daughters knelt severally behind them ; and an inscription 
requested prayers for the good estate of George Bouthe and 
Elizabeth his wife, who erected the window in 1530. 

In another light of the same window were the arms of Mascy 
of Dunham, surmounted with a crosier ; this window being 
presented by John Sharpe, Prior of Birkeahead, in the same 
year. The same coat of arms was repeated in the roof of the 
north aisle, but it has been obliterated, and the marks of the 
chisel which has been used may still be seen. 

In the lowermost window on the north side was another 
memorial to a Prior of Birkenhead, Robert Millington, or 
Millenton. There were the arms of Millington and an ecclesiastic 
kneeling, holding a cup in his left hand. 

In the east window of the north aisle, over against the chancel, 
was a window bequeathed by Hamonis Carrington, and sur- 
mounted by the Carrington arms. 

On a flag in the middle aisle was a memorial to the Eev. P. 
Lancaster, A.M., who died March 7th, 1763 ; but prior to the 
restoration of the church, there was a large number of inscrip- 
tions on stones in the interior to the servants of the Dunham 

In the Dunham Chapel are two large mural monuments. One 
has a shield of 60 quarterings of the Booth family placed against 
a pyramid, and resting on a sarcophagus. At the sides of the 
pyramids are two medallions to the memory of Langham and 
Henry Booth, younger sons of the then Earl of \\'arrington, who 


24 ALTIUyCIIAM AX1> liUirpUN. 

died ill 1724:, and in 1727. The other is divided into two taljlels ; 
the first to the memory of Henry Booth, Earl of Warrington and 
Baron Delamer, who died in 1693-1 ; the second to the memory 
of his Countess, sole daughter and heiress of Sir James Langham. 
In the charging of the siu'coat, Booth has nine quarterings 
impaling six of Langhams. The inscription regarding the Earl is 
as follows : — 


lieth the body of 

the Right Honourable Henry Booth, 

Earl of Warrington and Baron Delamer, 

of Dunham Massey ; 

a iierson of 

unblemished honor, 

impartial justice, 

strict integrity, 

an illustrious example of 

steady and unalterable adherence to 

the liberties and properties of his country, 

in the worst of times 

rejecting all offers to allure 


despising all danger to deter 

him therefrom, 

for which he was 

thrice committed close prisoner to the tower of 


and at length 

tried for his life 

upon a false accusation of high treason, from w hich he was 

unanimously acquitted 

by his peers, on the 1-lth January, mdclxxxv-vi. (16S5-6), 

which day 

he afterwards annually commemorated 

by acts of devotion and charity. 

In the year 


he greatly signalised himself at the 


on behalf of 

the Protestant religion and the rights of the Nation, 

without mixture of self interest, 

preferring the good of his country 

to the favor of the prince 

wlio then ascended the throne, 



having served his generation according to the will of God, 

■was gathered to his fathers in peace, 

on the second day of January, 169| (1693-4), 

in the xlii. (forty-second) year of his age, 

whose mortal remains were here entombed 

on the same memorable day on which, eight years before, 

his trial had been. 

The companion inscription sets forth the many virtues and 
good qualities of IMary, Countess of Warrington, his wife, as 
follows : — 

Also rest by him the earthly remains of the Rt. Honble. ilary. 
Countess of Warrington, his wife, sole daughter and heir of Sir James 
Langham, of Cottersbrooke, in the county of Northampton, Knt. and 
Bart. : a Lady of ingenuous parts, singular discretion, consummate judge- 
ment, great humility, meek and compassionate temper, extensive charity, 
exemplary and unaffected piety, perfect resignation to God's will ; lowly 
in prosperity and patient in adversity, prudent in her affairs, and endowed 
with all other virtuous qualities ; a conscientious discharger of her duty in 
all relations, being a faithful, affectionate, obliging, and observant \Yife, 
alleviating the cares and afHictions of her husband, by willingly sharing 
with him therein ; a tender, indulgent, and careful Mother, a dutiful and 
respectful Daughter, gentle and kind to her servants ; courteous and 
beneficent to her neighbours, a sincere friend, a lover and valuer of all 
good people, justly beloved and admired by all who knew her, who having 
perfected holiness in the fear of God was by Him received to an early and 
eternal Rest from her labours on the 23rd of March, 169i, in the xxwii. 
year of her age, calmly, composedly meeting and desiring death, with 
joyful hope and steadfastness of faith, a lively draught of real worth and 

A pattern deserving an imitation. 
Of whom the world was not worthy. 

mh. xi., 3s. 

Underneath are the words : — 

To perpetuate the remembrance of so much virtue till that great day 
come, wherein it .«hall be openly rewarded, this monument is erected as a 
mark of dutiful respect and affection by the care of their son George, Earl 
of Warrington, who reveres their memory. 

Mottoes : Ero quod spero (Let me be what I wish or profess to 
be) ; and A ma puissance (According to my power). 
On the second monument is the following : — 

This monument is 


to the ever valuable memory of the Honorable 

Langham and Henry Bootli, 


younger sons of the 

Right Honorable Henry late Earl of 


Both of them began their earthly pilgrimage on the 

Loid's Day' 


ufter having fought a good fight 

clieerfully resigned their souls into the mercifull 

hands of their God and Saviour 


finishing their course in ye XL. year of their respective ages, 

the former on the xii. of May, mdccxiv. (1714) 

; latter on the 11 Febr. mdccxxvii., do now rest in hope to receive 

their bodies 

immortal and glorious 

in the great day of the Lord. 

In the sight of the unwise they .seemed to die, but they are in peace 
and their hope full of Immortality, for (iod proved them and found them 
Worthy of Himself ; for Hnble. age is not measured by Number of 
years, but they being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time, 
and pleasing God were beloved of Him, so that living among sinners they 
were translated. — KYs. iii. and iv. 

On a brass which was formerly fixed in a stone at the descent 
to the family vault of the Earls of Stamford and "Warrington, kc, 
was an inscription of which the following is a translatioiL It 
was not replaced at the restoration of the church : — 

Under this monument are interred the remains of George, Lord 
Delamer, Baron of the ancient and noble house of Dunham Massey, wlio 
was distinguished by his piety, fidelity, and nflection to God, King, and 
Country, and who in the sixty-second year of his age exchanged an earthly 
coronet for a celestial crown, and died on the 10th day of August, in the 
year of our Salvation 1684. William Andrews, deploring the death of his 
most honourable Lord (in whose serxice he had continued for upwards of 
30 years, faithfully emulating and partaking in the loyalty which his 
master showed to his King), this monument to his ever-blessed and happy 
memory has been erected, consecrated, and preserved, and a hope added 
that when his life at the same time with his official duty to that noble 
family came to an end, at the entrance to this tomb his ashes might rest, 
until the day when they might rise, together with those of his master, 
into the new and eternal life. Died 25th day of July, 1685. 

In the south-east angle of this chapel is a portion of a piscina, 
much defaced, formerly used for holy water. 

Descnplion of the old church, continued — The tales told h'j the 
tomhstones and the tablets — .J curious old stone. 

THEKE still remains something to be s;iid about the old 
structure, and having described the Dunham and 
Carrington Chapels, we pass on to the other parts of 
the church. The vestry was situated under the belfry, and 
occupied the ancient western entrance, and at the north entrance 
were the font and the gallery stairs and near the south porch the 
organ gallery stairs. The galleries were of fair dimensions. The 
organ gallery was built under a faculty from the Bishop of 
Chester, and the organ was presented by the Eai-1 of Stamford 
and Warrington in 1822. This was afterwards pulled down, 
and a new one built in the Carrington Chapel, which in its turn 
gave place in 1876 to a noble instrument built by Messrs. 
Jardine and Co., of Manchester. The galleries on the north 
side were enlarged and re-built in the year 184], at the sole 
expense of the vicar, the Rev. W. H. G. Mann, M.A. The side 
aisles of the church had handsome carved oak roofs. On the 
south side the roof had remained unfinished for centuries, and 
had become so dilapidated as to render its restoration necessary'. 
This was undertaken by Mr. Kay, of Manchester, and was 
executed by him with such exactness as to preserve its pristine 
efifect. There was some exquisite carving, and the cluster points 
all varied in pattern. The ceilings were divided from the nave 
by five pointed arches on each side, resting on short octagonal 
pillars with capitals. The roof appears to have been taken 
down about 1778, and the walls rai.scd ; at which time John Coe, 
Richard Leather, Thoma.s Ashley, and J<ihn Slater were cburoh- 


There ;ire several monuments in \-arious parts of the church 
which have not been hitherto mentioned. Prominent amongst 
them is a fine mural one to the memory of Thomas and Harriet 
Assheton, of Ashley, and their son, Thomas Assheton Smith, 
descendants of the ancient family of the Breretons of Bovvdon :— 

In a vault near this place were interred 

the remains of Thomas Assheton, of Assheley, Esq., 

on the 9th clay of July, 1759, aged 64. 

Also in the same vault, Harriet Assheton, 

who died at Manchester, Jan., 1773, aged 74 ; 

also, the remains 

of Thomas Assheton Smith, of Asheley, Esq., 

son of the above Thomas and Harriet, 

who died April 16th, 1774, aged 49 years, 

to whose memory \Vm. Henry Assheton Smith, Esq., 

erects this monument. 

Qui< desiderio sit pudor aut modus 

Tam cari capitis. 

Also the remains of 

William Henry Assheton Smith, Es(|.. 

younger son of the above, 

Thomas Assheton Smith, Esq., 

who died at Hailey, in the county of O.vford, 

March 4th, 1839, aged 82 years. 


to the memory of 

Hugh Fitz-Patriok Hall, Esq., 

of Jamaica, and late of Ashley, in this county, 

who died on the 27th day of June, 1788, 

in the 3Sth year of his age : 

also, Martha his wife, 

the second daughter of 

Marsden Kenyon, Esq., 

of Manchester, 

who died on the 14th day of Jan., 1780, 

in the 26th year of her age. 

In a recess at the south entrance to the organ gallery was a 
tablet to the memory of a most unostentatious man, the Eev. 
Thomas Whittaker, sometime perpetual curate of Eingway : — 

What he was as a scholar he desired not to have recorded. 
What he « as as a minister of Christ 
ought ever to bo had in remembrance ; 


and when those who revered him as a guide, 

a counsellor, and a friend are seen no more, 

let this humble memorial testify 

how diligently he instructed the young, 

warned the careless, sought out the neglected, 

comforted the afflicted, and preached to all 

the doctrine of his God and Saviour, 

which he cordially embraced, 

which his life adorned, and whose consolations 

he enjoyed in his last hours. 

he died May vii, mdcocxviii. (1818), 

aged LXiii (63) years. 

God forbid that I should glory save in 

the Gross of Christ my Lord.— C?a^ vi. 5. 

In the middle aisle was a tablet with a Latin inscription to 
the memory of John Baldwin, LL.B. : — 

Who was placed over the parish of Bowdon as Vicar more than 
forty-three years. To him was entrusted the joyful gift of the ministry, 
whiqh he diligently performed ; and at length, having concluded his 
labours, peacefully returned his soul to God in the year of safety, on the 
3rd day of July, 1815, aged 69. 

On the same stone is also an inscription to — 

John Baldwin, junior, his only and much beloved son, who had 
scarcely entered into the sacred office, in which he dutifully pointed out 
the way of the blessed, when he expired, having fulfilled the task imposed, 
on the 16th January, in the year of safety, 1817, aged 2,5 years. Wife, 
husband, mother, son, bewailing. 

There are the following inscriptions in other parts of the 
church : — 

This humble tablet 

in conformity with the unassuming tenor of his mind 

records the death of 

William Harle Nicholls, M.D., 

a native of the city of Durham, 

whose character as a man 

reflects honour upon human nature ; 

visiting at Altrincham upon a tour of observation, 

he was arrested by a call from his Creator 

May 28th, 1830, in the 69th year of his age, 

and was interred in the cemetery 

of this church. 



to the memory of 

the Reverend Daniel Whittle, A.M., 

late of Hollingworth Hall, in this county, 

who after a ministry, short but faithful and approved, 

at Saint George's Chapel, in Altrinchara, 

in the prime of life, in the midst of usefulness 

was by his Master summoned away from his work, 

with him to rest, with him to reign, 

on 22nd April, A.D. 1834 ; 

born 26th Jan., a.d. 1800. 

Looking for that * * Titus ii. 

To the memory of 

Edward Jeremiah Lloyd, 

of Oldtield Hall, 

a magistrate for the counties of 

Chester and Lancaster, 

and a Captain in the Earl of Chester's Yeomanry Cavalry, 

who closed an exemplary and useful life 

on the 3id day of July, 1850, 

in the Gist year of his age. 

Distinguished by the urbanity of his manners 

and the kindness of his disposition 

no less than by his undeviating honour 

and exact sense of justice : 

accessible and benevolent to the poor, 

considerate and attentive to all, 

he engaged in a remarkable degree the affections, 

while he commanded the respect 

of every class of society. 

to testify their appreciation of his worth 

and to record so eminent an example of excellence ; 

the inhabitants of this neighbourhood 

and the members of the corps to which he belonged, 

have caused this tablet 

to be erected. 

Sacred to the Memory of Tliomas Bagshaw, of Altrincham, late of 
Manchester, who died October lotli, 1843, in the 70th year of his age. His 
loss was deeply lamented by all who knew him, for through a long and 
peaceful life he worthily sustained the character of a faithful and sincere 
friend, a truly lionorable man, and a benefactor of mankind. As a grateful 


tribute to his departed wortli, and as a mark of the deep esteem with 
which his memory is cherished, this tablet is erected by his sole surviving 
Niece, S.B. 

" The praise of Man is fluctuating and perisheth. 
The testimony of a good conscience endureth for ever." 

Passing from the interior to the exterior, we enter the church- 
yard to note many points of interest to be discerned there. Some 
of the old inscriptions are rather curious. 

On a stone, on the north side, is the following : — 
The body that this stone doth here embrace, 
So like to Leah, with a Rachael's face, 
Sarah's obedience, likewise Lydia's heart. 
With Martha's care, and Mary's better part. 

This was formerly to be seen under the chancel window : — 
Here lie the bodies of a daughter of John Cooke, of Altrincham, an 
attorney at law, and Sarah his wife, who, though full grown {and a while 
before alive), was born dead the 16th and buried 17th March, 1749. 

Near the old yew tree is : — 

Here lieth the body of John Pixton, of Altrincham, who died 27th 
Sepr., 1843, in the 96th year of his age ; Mary, wife of John Pixton, of 
Altrincham, who died 21st February, 1S4I, in the 9.Srd year of her age. 
Twenty years they lived a single life. 
Seventy-two they lived a married life. 
Three years he lived a widower chaste. 
And now hath left the world and gone to rest. 

On one of the stones is an old heading in Eoman letters LB. 
1633, enclosed in a square ; but the oldest inscription to be found 
in the yard is on a long narrow stone, also not far from the old 
yew tree. Owing to the way in which the words are divided, it 
is somewhat difficult to decipher at first sight, but it reads as 
follows : — 

Here lyeth the bodie of William Artinstall, de Ringey, deceased 
November xxvii, Ac. Do. 1617 ; also the bodie of Laurence Artinstall, of 
Ringey, who departed this life August 4th, Anno. Dom. 1684. 

On the grave of Francis Booth, who was Clerk of the church 
40 years (it is a remarkable fact that there have only been three 
clerks during 120 years, Mr. H. Service l^eing the last, who 



served forty), is an inscription at once unique and suggestive. 

It reads : — 

I oft have viewed the gloomy place 
Which claims the relicks of the human race, 
And read on the insculptured stone 
Here lies the body of . 

but now my own 
Dissolves to native dust, and as you see 
Another here has done the same for me. 

Our life is but a winter's day, 
Some only breakfast and away, 
Others to dinner stay and are full fed, 
The oldest man but sups and goes to bed ; 
Large is his debt who lingers out the day. 
Who goes the soonest has the least to pay. 

On the tombstone of John Bray, of Dunham, who was 81 at 
the time of his death, and his wife Martha, aged 91, are the 
following lines : — 

Our term of life is 70 years — an a£;e that few survive, 

But if we've more than common strength, to 80 we arrive ; 

And then our boasted strength decays, to sorrow turned and pain ; 

And soon the slender thread is cut, and we no longer reign. 

Near the tower is another stone, inscribed to the memory of 
Peter Shaw, of Bowdon, who died in 1825, aged 74 years. He 
was the faithful servant of Mr. Thomas Davenport, of Oldfield, 
"for 24 years and upwards " : — 

Farewell, vain world, I've seen enough of thee, 
And now am careless what thou sayest of me, 
Thy smiles I court not, nor thy frowns I fear, 
My cares are past, my head lies quiet here. 
What faults you saw in me take care to shun, 
And look at home — enough there's to be done. — 
Where'er I lived or died, it matters not, 
To whom related or by whom begot. 
I was, now am not, ask no moi'e of me, 
'Tis all I am, and all that you shall be. 

There are references on some of the stones to the ancient 
family of Vawdrey, frequently alluded to in the annals of the 



There are two siich references which may be quoted as 
possessing great interest : — 

William Vawdrey, of Owlerbarrow, gent., sonne to John Vawdrey of 
Banke, gent, was borne the 20th day of Nov. Anno Dom. 1606. He 
married Mary, the daughter and hi-erotrix of John Massey, gent, and after, 
Alice, sister to Sir Edward Moore of Thelewell, baronet, and had by them 
sixteen sonnes and daughters. Departed this life and was buried the l'2th 
day of May, Anno Dom. 1665. 

On the stone are the arms of the Vawdreys. Also : — 

The mortalitie and death of the sonnes and daughters of William 
Vawdrey of Owlerbarrow, gent., by Alice his wife : 

Alice, second November, 1650. 

Richard, 17th December, 1650. 

John, 23rd January, 1651. 

Thomas, 16th July, 16.54. 

Henry, 3rd December, 1654. 
and William, seventh sonne, likewise departed this life 22nd day of 
January, 1664. 

On a raised tombstone, surrounded by iron'railings, within a 
few yards of the tower on the south-west side, is an inscription to 
the memory of Eobert Kothwell, of Agden, who, with his wife 
and children, who apparently all died young, is interred here, 
having died at the age of 45. 

Beneath this rustic monument there lies 
One whose pure soul beat high in virtue's cause ; 
Religion's favorite child, he was the boast — 
And champion of the poor, blessing and blest ! 
Within the narrow circle of his friends he lived 
Unknown to fame : 
' Unknown he died. 
Alas ! too soon in manhood's prime he fell. 
Say ye who knew him best was not his life 
A perfect model of a Christian's course? 
And stranger whosoe'er thou art whose steps, 

or chance or melancholy this way leads 
If thou dost honour merit, pause ! 'tis hallowd ground, 
Here in the arms of death a village Hambden (?) sleeps. 


On the gravestone of a young girl who died suddenly, is the 
following ; — 

Warned by "my fate be ever on your guard 
Lest sudden death should meet you unprepared 
Innocent and young I saw no danger near 
Stranger both to sickness, pain and fear. 

Inscriptions are to be found to the memory of two infant 
sons of a former Vicar, the Rev. W. H. G. Mann : — 

Bold Infidelity turn pale and die ! 

Beneath this stone an infant's ashes lie. 

Say, is it lost or saved ? 

If death's by sin, it sinned, for it lies here ; 

If heaven's by works, in heaven it can't appear. 

Ah Reason ! how depraved ! 

Revere the Bible's sacred page— the knot's untied 

It died through Adam's sin— it lives for .Jesu's shed. 

On the second boy, which died aged one year, is the 
following : — 

To us for just 12 anxious months his infant smiles were given, 
And then he bade farewell to earth and went to live in heaven ; 
We cannot tell what form is his, what looks he weareth now. 
Nor guess how bright a glory crowns his shining seraph brow ; 
But we know, for God has told us this, that he is now at rest 
Where other blessed infants lie on their Saviour's loving breast ; 
We know too we shall meet our babe through the same Saviour's 

Where God for aye shall wipe away all tears from every face. 

On a raised tombstone on the westerly side is an inscription 
to the memory of an aged lady : — 

The storms of life are now o'er blown, 
Fear, trouble, care, grief, pain are gone. 
And God in Christ will hence display 
The sunshine of eternal day. 

Perhaps the very last of these rhyming inscriptions is the one 
which perpetuates the memory of one who in life was one of our 
worthiest citizens : — 

In affectionate remembrance of .loseph Owen, who died April 4th, 
1866, in his 51st year. 


Yes, he is gone, of parents best : 

A aiaster, kindly, just ; 

His sleep will be the Christian's rest 

Who lived a life of trust. 

Yes, gone ! in life's fair noon removed, 

When all was doubly dear, 

Bat those he cherished — her he loved 

Will commune with him here. 

A notable monument near the centre of the churchyard, which 
bears by its freshness the mark of loving and tender care, is that 
to the memory of David Stott, founder of St. Paul's Sunday 
School, Bennett Street, Manchester, who died February 26th, 
1848, aged 68 years. The inscription runs : — 

He founded this institution in the year 1801, and was permitted in 
the goodness of God to labour in the management of it until the last week 
of his life. His gentleness and devotion amply fitted him for a Sunday 
School Instructor ; his benevolence and discretion enabled him to foster 
this Institution, equally eminent for its usefulness, with success. He was 
also the originator of sick and burial societies in connection with Sunday 
Schools, and was a noble example of what may be effected by the influence 
of christian principles, affection and perseverance, wlien devoted to the 
service of the Saviour. This tribute of affection is erected in veneration of 
his efi'orts and example, by the visitors, teachers and friends of the said 

In the same grave rest the remains of his wife, Jane, who died 
May 11th, 1851, aged 70 years. 


The Parish Church, Us restoration — Bemiiiders and relics of aiitiquit// — 
Description of restored edifice — Tablets to the Fen. ArcMeacon 
Pollock, and to the first Vicar of St. Margaret's — The stained glass 
windmvs and their donors — A run through the registers — Curious 
and interesting extracts — the Boiodon Proverb — Notices of Vicars, 
with list — The ancient rating valuation, or mize — List of benefac- 
tions, &c. 

THE hoary pile which had served the spiritual wants of the 
parish for so many centuries at length fell into irreparable 
decay, and the substitution of an edifice more calculated to 
meet the increased requirements of the age was rendered necessary. 
It is a matter for thankfulness that Bowdon has escaped that spirit 
of vandalism which demolishes while it does not reproduce, and that 
the restoration of its parish church is essentially so both in spirit 
and in fact. As nearly as possible the old type has been adhered 

In 1854 attention was drawn to the state of the church, and 
two years afterwards plans were j)repared ; but these were objected 
to for many reasons, and ultimately, after some competition, Mr. 
W. H. Brakspear was entrusted with the important work. In 
the demolition of the ancient structure the remains of two 
churches formerly existing on the site were discovered. These 
were unmistakably portions of the ancient Norman church, pro- 
bably of the twelfth century, and a decorated church of the 
fourteenth century. The traces of Norman work were, indeed, 
very numerous. A piscina, cusped-headed, having marks of foiu- 
crockets and a finial, was also found ; but whether this was from 
the high altar or not is uncertain. Another feature of interest 
was the stone figure of a recumbent Knight, in armour, greatly 
worn, found in the foundations of the nave pier. 


The first, or foundation, stone was laid on Wednesdaj-, 18th 
August, 1858, in the presence of a large concourse of spectators, 
by the Bishop of Chester. The Vicar (Kev. W. Pollock) on that 
occasion announced that there had been received from various 
sources the sum of £6,000. The Nonconformists had responded 
to his appeal in a way which called forth his warmest gratitude. 
The silver trowel which he presented to the Bishop bore the fol- 
lowing inscription : — 

To John, Lord Bishop of the diocese, and patron of the living, on his 
laying the first stone, in the restoration of their ancient Parish Church, by 
the Vicar and Building Committee, on belialf of the parishioners of 
Bowdon, 18th August, 1858. Reverend William Pollock, M.A., Vicar, 
John Mort, A. W. Mills, John Reid, and John Warburton, Church- 

It has been erected on a more extended scale, but occupies the 
same site, and to some extent rests on the old foundation. By 
the introduction of north and south transepts, the increase in size 
has been made principally towards the east, which consequently 
required a greater height than before existed. Thus the aisles, 
walls, clerestory, and tower have been considerably increased in 
size. All the architectural features of any value have been repro- 
duced, and the north and south aisle ceilings of carved oak remain 
entire, and have been carefully restored. Those portions of the 
old church that had been preserved from an earlier building have 
also been utilized, which will explain why the architecture of the 
middle and third pointed periods are found side by side. The 
general character of the architecture, however, is that of the per- 
pendicular, or third pointed period. 

The arcades of the nave have been somewhat extended in their 
span, and transept arches introduced, otherwise they may be con- 
sidered a restoration. The aisles and chapels being of unusual 
width, they ha\-e Ijeen spanned by two arches of similar design to 
those of the nave. There arc also two arches on either side of 
the chancel, opening out of the chapel. The chancel has a 
massive arch of separation from the nave, in the deep hollow 
moulding of which is arranged, at certain distances, carved 


Houers and foliage, which also with the mouldings to some extent 
return down the pier. There is a lofty arch and stone carved 
screen opening out of the tower and inner porch, which has a rich 
continuous car\ed hollow mould in the arch and piers. Over this 
arch is a circular traceried opening for ventilation, connected -srith 
an exhauster in th* tower above. The whole of the interior is 
lined with finely worked ashlar, with the exception of the Vestry, 
Avhich has since been extended so as to give accommodation to the 
choir and clergy. 

The two chapels, as is well known, were formerly the mortuary 
chapels of the ancestors of the Earls of Stiimford and War- 
i-ington, and under the South or Dunham Chapel is the present 
family vault. To give the true character to these chapels, monu- 
mental arches and copestones have been introdiiced externally 
immediately above the base mould, and above each is a circidar 
window with tracery arranged as a cross. 

The tower, which was only intended to V)e taken partly down, 
was found too dilapidated, and had to be wholly rebuilt. The 
restored one is certainly a striking conception. Its height from 
the ground to the top of the parapet is 91 feet 6 inches, being 31 
feet 6 inches higher than the old one. It is surmounted by eight 
richly crocketed pinnacles, the four corner ones lieing terminated 
with gilt copper vanes. 

The interior is lighted with gas. Foiu- polished brass coronte, 
of eight lights each, are in the nave ; one in each of the transepts ; 
one in the chancel ; three in each aisle, and one in the Dunham 
Chapel, of six lights each. 

•Most of the tablets formerly in the old church are to be found 
in the restored edifice. There are also additional ones, of which it 
becomes necessary to speak. First and foremost is the following : 

This tablet and the monument over his grave were erected by the 
parishioners in loving memory of William I'ollock, D.D., who, tifter much 
and varied pastoral work, diligently and faithfully done, in the diocese at 
Stockport, Macclesfield, St. Helens, and Liverpool, was appointed Vicar 
of this parish in 1856, and subsequently Rural Dean of Frodsham East, 


honorary Canon of Chester Cathedral and Archdeacon of Chester. The 
complete reconstruction of this church, the building of St. Mark's Church 
at Dunham, and the Bowdon and Ashley Parochial Schools, are among the 
memorials of the great influence which the love and respect he inspired 
enabled him to exercise. Born I2th April, 1812: died lltli October, 187.3. 
" Bles.sed are the dead which die in the Lord." 

Also : — 

This tablet is placed by grateful friend-i of the Rev. John Kingsley, 
M.A., Vicar of St. Margaret's, Dunham Massey, to record his f.iithful ser- 
vices while curate of the parish church during a period of twenty years. 
He died in the sixty-fiist year of his age, and was buried in this church- 
yard on the ISth day of November, 1869. "Verily, I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye 
have done it unto me."—S(. M-itthew xxv. 40. 

The following is the inscviption on a hniss at the west end of the 
south aisle wall : — 

This church of St. Mary, at first erected in Saxon times, and after- 
wards thrice restored, viz., about the years of grace 1100, 1320, and 1510, 
was rebuilt and enlarged by voluntary subfCriptions, the good work being 
cimpleted according to the good hand of our God upon us, a.d. 1860. 
William Pollock, M.A., Vicar; John Mort, Alexander W. Mills, D. A. 
Clarke, John Reid, JNI. E. Lycott, Churchwardens ; W. H. Brakspear, 
Architect. " ' The place whereon thou standest is holy ground.' 

There are several stained glass windows of great beauty. The 
large east window has for its subject the crucifixion, the centre 
light containing the figure of Our Saviour, and on each side are 
the malefactors, which, however, are not made too prominent. 
The other lights and tracery are filled with pictures of the Ascen- 
sion, the scene on the morning of the resurrection, the Marys 
going to the sepulchre with angels, Abraham offering up his son 
Isaac, and Moses lifting up the brazen serpent, both e\ents lieing 
typical of the Crucifixion. Underneath are the words : — 

In memory of Mary, the Wife of William Neild, Esquire, of High 
Lawn, who died March 16th, 1859. 

The north and south transept windows are the gifts of Lady 
Murray, a descendant of the ancient family of Rigby, of Oldfield 
Hall, and of E. Joynson, Esq., J.P., of Bowdon. One represents 


the Miracles ; the other the Parables of Our Ijord. The window 
of the west end is the gift of John Clegg, Esq., J.P., of Altrincham. 
There is a small chancel window erected by W. D. Nicholls, Esq., 
and his sisters, to the memory of their father. 

Other windows are to the memory of Peter Hartley, late of 
Altrincham, by his children, " in token of their love and esteem 
for their father, A.D., radccclxxix. ; " " to the glory of God and 
in loving memory of Edward Dowling, of this parish, who, on 
the 30th August, 1889, on a mountain in Calvary was called to 
behold the things unseen ; " one erected by Mrs. Sarah France 
in loving memory of her father and mother, ' Mr. and Mrs. 
W. Goulden, who died in 1857 and 1863 respectively; and a 
chancel window " in loving remembrance of Eobert Alsop 
Warburton, of Bowdon, born March 5th, 1820, died December 
31st, 1879," presented by his wife and children. 

The font is a massive octagonal one, richly cut, of Painswick 
stone, and the basin rests on a shaft of Devonshire marble. It 
was the gift of ^liss Joynson. The oak lectern was the gift of 
Miss Pollock. 

The restored church contains 1,16.1 sittings, exclusive of those 
for the private accommodation of the Earl of Stamfoi-d and War- 
rington, being an increase of 359 sittings on the former number. 
The entire cost of the building and works in connection therewith 
was £12,371 16s 7d., exclusive of the sum of £1,748 10s. which 
was allowed by the contractor on account of old materials Of 
this amount £11,447 was contribvited by resident parishes, or 
persons owning property in the parish ; £521 by strangers ; £210 
by the Incorporated Society for the building and enlarging of 
Churches ; and £150 by the Diocesan Church Building Society. 

The Registers of the baptisms, marriages, and burials date from 
the year 1628 ; but there are incomplete copies preserved at 
Chester from the beginning of 1600. Not the least interesting 
feature connected with those at Bowdon is an index which was 
compiled several years ago by Mr. Rushton, a son of the Ven. 


Archde<acon Rushton, formerly of Manchester. The work of 
reference is thus rendered remarktably easy, and ample testimony 
to his painstaking endeavours is borne by the fact that not a 
single error has yet been discovered. The first volume contains 
records under all three divisions, from 1G28 to 16.53. It is 
headed : — 

" A Register Book of all Weddings, Christening.=!, and Burials, in the 
Parish Church of Bowdon, in the year of our Lord, 1628." 

The first entry states that : — 

Robert Tatton, of Withenslinw, Esquire, and Anne Brereton, daughter 
of the Right Worshipful Wiiliain Brereton, of Ashley, Esquire, were 
niarryed the eight day of January, Anno Dom. 1628. 

This is an important event, and is more elaborately set 
forth than the rest. The parchment on which the entries are 
made is very stout but it is obvious that little care has been 
bestowed on its preservation in former years, as damp, the arch- 
enemy of ancient documents, has been at work and succeeded in 
effectually obliterating some of the written characters In 1646, 
the marriages are entered at greater length, as are also the bap- 
tisms. One of the clerks, Thomas Sanderson, was most 
particular. AYe find that — 

Alexander Sanderson, sonne to Thomas Sanderson, clarke of Bowdon, 
was born upon Saint Michael and All Angels daye, between the hours of 
five and six of the clock in the morninge, being the 28th day of 
September, in anno 1636. 

At the foot of the volume it is announced that — 
George Booth, Knit and Barronett, is one of his Matie's justices of pe^.ce 
within the County of Chester, as attested by Peter Drinkwater, clerk. 

The first name amongst the biu-ials is that of " Henry Arstall 
de Ringey, January 19th, 1628." 

A stranger yt (that) plaid on a tabret and whistle. 
There is nothing to indicate where this wandering minstrel 
of some accomplishment died ; but that he found a stranger's 
grave at Bowdon, and went down to it apparently " unwept, 
unhonoured, and unsung," is clear. 


Alexander Owen, clerk of Bowdon, was biiryed ye third day of 
February, Anno Domini 16-28. 

" Margaret Pagett, wife of Mr. Thomas Patjett, minister and preacher 
at Bowdon, Aug. uliimo, 1628." 

Robert Janny, Vicar of Bowdon, departed this life the 8th day of 
January, and was buryed the 9th in anno, 16.36. 

A poore boy out of the Woodhouses was buryed 8th <lay of November, 

Dorrity Smith, daughter to George Smith, being a stranger, and 
another a child that was not baptised of his, March ISth, 1640. 

" Two infants of one Sarah May. 

A poor child of a stranger, 1647. 

Amongst the concluding entries in the first \-olunie is the 
following : — 

Sir George Booth, of Dunham Massey, Knight and Baronett, departed 
this lyfe the 24th day of October, and was buryed the 28th day of 
November, in the year of our Lord God, one thousand six hundred and 
fiftie two, 1652. 

The second volume contains baptisms and burials from 16-53 
to 1681, and marriages from 1653 to 1664, and from 1673 to 
1681, nine years being missing. The latter are, however, to be 
found at Chester for the years 1666, 1668 to 1673, but for 1665 
and 1667 there are no records. On a kind of rider attached to 
the ordinary register is a list of still-born children ; thus : — 

A man child of John Deane's of Altrincham was still born 2flth October 

A man child of Robert Arstall of Hale fields was born dead January 
26th, 1653, &c. 

In 1653, during the Commonwealth period, there was a very 
stringent Act of Parliament passed, requiring marriages to take 
place before a Justice of the Peace. The form usually adopted 
was the following : — 

Publication of banns of marriage was made in our parish church of 
Bowdon three several Lords days between John Yeates of Lime parish and 
Margaret Baxter of this parish, wli. days of publicition were the 4th, 
the nth and the 18th dayes of December in the year 1653, and were 
jjiarried the 23rd day of December within the same year before me. 

Peter Brookes Esquire. 


The following coiiUiius the tiisi referenee to any trade pursued 
in the district : — 

Publication of banns of marriage was made in our parish church of 
Bowdon three several Lords days betwixt Wm. Tippinge, of Hale, woollin 
Webster (woollen weaver), and Katheren Hall, of Ashley, both of this 
parish of Bowdon, wch dayes of publication were the 2'2nd, 29th dayes of 
January, and first day of February, and noe objection being made but that 
they might lawfully proceed in marriage : and were married by me, 
Thomas Standley (Stanley), of Alderley, Esquire, one of the Justices of 
Peace for this County, the 6th day of February, 1653. 

Proclamation was in some instances made, generally by the 
bellman, at the Cross in the Market Place. These proclamations 
usually read as follows : — 

Publication of banns was made in the Altrincham Market, within our 
Parish of Bowdon, three severall Market dayes betwixt Edward Woodall, 
of the parish of Ashton upon Mercey Bancke, and Anne Carrington, of 
this parish, which dayes of publication were the loth, 22nd, and 29th 
dayes of August, in tlie year of our Lord Ood 1654, and were marryed the 
16th day of September, in the year of our Lord God 1654, before 

Tho. Brereton, Esquire. 

Some of the entries state that publication was made between 
the hours of eleven and two in the Market Place, but this does 
not appear prior to the year 1656 to have been a popular mode, 
as three-fourths of the proclamations were made in "our parish 
church." The majority of the marriages took place before Thomas 
Brereton, Esquire ; but it is interesting to note that on one or 
two Occasions Colonel Henry Bradshaw, of Marple, brother to 
President Bradshaw, also officiated. In 1656 and 1657, the 
publications were, with few exceptions, made in the Altrincham 
Market Place, "at the close of the morning," or 12 o'clock. 
In 1658 they were made in solitary instances, but they are 
solemnized by the Vicar, James Watmough, " in the j)resence of 
numerous people." This elaborate style of entering marriages 
then ceases, except in the instances of the principal families of the 
district, when the details arc given w-ith some minuteness. The 
births at this period partake of the same character as the 
marriages in the extent and preciseness of the entries. The wife 


of the Vicar presented him with three or four interesting " olive 
branches," to all of whom due honour is accorded in the matter of 
registering. That the schoolmaster was also a married man and 
similarly situated, is proved by the following amongst the 
baptisms : — 

Hanna, daughter of Peter Hurdes, schoolmaister, (August '24111, 1667). 

The ages are not given, and very seldom the trades, but 
occasionally they crop up. Husbandmen are the most numerous, 
yeomen coming next in order. There were several websters or 
weavers in Bowdon (1657), and at a somewhat later date, black- 
smiths, saddlers, gardeners, "joyners," shoemakers, in Altrincham 
and the neighbourhood. 

John Higginson, of Bowdon, Innkeeper, was buned 24th day of 
Novr. 1657. 

A poore woman wch. was a stranger came by pass, buryed ye 9th 
day of November. 

A poore ould wooman whose name was thought to be Steenson, 
January 12th, 1658. 

A child that was born dead of Tho. Kinge, was buried 15th March, 

Roger Shuttleworth, schoolmaister, buried 7th day of February (1659). 

Thomas Brereton, Esquire, of Ashley, departed this life the 10th day 
of July, and was buried the 19th day of July, in the year of our Lord 
God, 1660. 

Jane Urinkwater, of Hale, a poore woman, buryed 22nd October (1661). 

Edward Leigh, of Altringham, a poore man, buried 23rd November 

Mr. John Lightfoote, vicar of Bowdon, departed this !yfe ye 22tli day 
of December, in ye yr. of our Lord, 1661. 

Mrs. Margrett Vaudrey, of ye Bancke (Bank Hall), widow, was 
buryed in Carrington Chapel by leave and lycense of George Lord Delamer, 
by the interest of Samuel Vaudry, the son, June ye 24th, 1662. 

Charles, son of John Houghton, Schoolmaister, Deer, ye Sth, 1662. 

Robert Tippinge. of Bowdon, gent and steward to George, Lord 
Delamer, was buryed ye 21th day of fifebruary, 1662. 

Isaac Tipping, son of Edward Tipping, of Hale, Dec. 22th, (1665). 

William, son of John Hoyle, of Hale, was buryed Dec. ye 28th. 

The two last mentioned Isaac Tipping and William Royle had not 
xtian buriall, theire friendes contemninge it. Tho: Weston, Vic. 


\Vm. Tippinge, of Dunham, bayliflFe to Lord Delamer, buryed March 
23th, (1670). 

Raphe Thomas, of Altringham, piper, burwd September l'2th, (1672). 

Thomas Sanderson, clark of the church, buryed March ye 13th (1672). 

" William Shuttleworth, servant to Francis Mosley, vicar, April 17th, 

The two succeeding volumes of Registers ai'e very small, 
volume III. containing baptisms from 1682 to 1702, and volume 
IV. marriages from 1683 to 1719. On the title page of volume III. 
there is a memorandum, dated Aitgust 29th, 1697, setting forth 
that : — 

Richard Rogers, Wm. Coppock, Robert Leather and Isaac Eccles, 
churchwardens for the p'sh (parish) of Bowdon in the yeare 1690, did pay 
unto John Lawrinson, Wm. Simpson, Robert Leather and Isaac Eccles, 
churchwardens for the p'sh of Bowdon for the yeare 1693 the summe of six 
pounds eighteen shillings and sixpence (which they had in their hands) 
towards reimbursing them, wch was in full for all moneys they were out 
of purse in the yeare 1093. Witness my hand, 

.Jo : Hyde, Vic. of Bowdon. 

The " baptizings," as they are now called, continue imtil the 
year 1683 in a most orderly manner, when there is a record of 
"John, son of ffrancis Newton, of Altringham, March ye 22th." 
Underneath this is written : " A brave boy ; long may bee live 
to God's glory." It is to be hoped that this pious wish was 
fulfilled. In July, 169G, the handwriting changes, and Altringham 
is spelled Althringham, just as thoixgh the clerk was a native of the 
sister isle. Almost simultaneously we have the first indication of 
dissent in an aggressive form in the parish. 

1696. — Deborah, daughter of Robert Hankinson, of Ashley, was born 
July 13th and baptised July 28th, 1696, by Mr. Dernily, as is said by a 
note sent thereof to ye vicar. 

John, son of George W^arburton, of Hale, born Deo. 3th, 1696 and 
baptised Dec. 23th, 1996, by whom I don't know. Aron Warburton told 
mee of it. 

1698. — Henry, son of Richard Green, of Altringham, apothecary, born 
November 27th, baptised Dec. 13th (1698). 

William, s. of John Taylor, of Timpley, mason. 

John, 3. of Richard Millington, of Althringham, carpenter. 


John, s. ot James Whitehead, Baguley, weaver. 

A female child of \Vm. Norman, of Altrincham, sadler. 

1699.— Josiah, s. of Robert Hankin.son, of Ashley, born May 21th, and 
baptized June 1st ; Timothy, s. of Robert Hankinson, of Ashley, born May 
21th, and baptized June They were twins. Both the aforesaid 
children were baptized at Robert Hankinson 's house, by one Dernily, a 
dissenter, contrary to law, the liousc not being lycensed. He preaches at 
Ringey chappell, a chappell anciently belonging to the Church of England 
and under Bowdon Church. 

Mary, d. of James Mosse, of Dunham, born July 12th, baptized July 
19th by Mr. (Mr. this time) Dernily, the Nonconformist, contrary to law. 

Wm. s. of Theo. Heald, of Ashley, baptized at Heald's house by 
Dernily, the dissenter, contrary to law. 

Geo., s. of James Hardie, of Althringham, born Dec. oth, and baptized 
Dec. 11th by Mr. Dernily, the dissenting minister, at Ringey. 

These would be the " seiwratists" who were said to be about 
this time so numerous and troublesome in the parish. 

Mr. Dernily's name then drojos out of the Kegister, and so far 
as he is concerned the breast ecclesiastical ceases from troubling, 
and its conscience is at rest. How it fares from others later on 
Avill be seen. We proceed with more interesting extracts. 

1699.— March 2nd, baptized John, s. of John Lupton, grocer, 

1700.— James, s. of J.ames Hardy, alderman, of Altrincham. 

This is the first reference to any one holding any official 
position in connection with the Corporation of the town. 

1700.— Ann, d. of John Worsley, glacier ; Nathaniel, s. of Wm. 
Brownhill, of Dunham, born December 23th, baptized January 6th, 1700; 
the father did not acquaint me Avith the birth or baptism till June 8th, 
1701, being Whit Sunday. Mr. Yates baptized it unknown to me. — Jo. 

We no\v hark l.iack to the Ijui'ials in the same \olume, several 
of which refer to the Booth family. There are one or two 
references to trades then being pursued in the district, notably 
that of malting at Altrincham. At the end of the volume, 
amongst the list of the stillborn children, is Margaret Hardey, 
Quaker, probably the same Margaret Hardey, widow, of Bowdon, . 
who i.s referred to in the vohune as ha\ino- lieen " bur\-d at the 


Quaker's burying place in JNlobberley p'sli." Many of the people 
dying at Carrington and Partington were buried at Flixton, pro- 
bably on account of its being more convenient than Bowdon. 

We now take 'i'olume ir., which contains marriages from the 
year 1683 to 1719. There are one or two entries on the title 
page, amongst them one to the effect that — 

" Peter Barber, of .Agden, was married in Cartwright's land, beyond 

The marriages Ijegin to be noted as Ijeing solemnized by banns 
or by licence. The one following, however, was not in " either of 
these fashions." 

Joseph Peirson and Sarah Hurlbut, of Ashley, marryed by Mr. Gooden 
(clandestinely), January 1th, 1697. 

" James C'oe, of Ashley, marryed to a woman in Lane (Lancashire), 
sells meal at a meal house in Manchester, his father lives at Ashley, not 
marryed at Bovrdon, but at Manchester as I am told. 

A reticent individual was 

Thomas Ogden, keeper, at Dunham, and Ann Moulston, marryed 
about Christmas, 1698, but he will not tell where nor by whom. 

This reticency appears to become epidemic at this time, as 
subsequent entries show. 

Isaac Rylands, of Hale, and Elizabeth Hankinson, marryed in July, 
in the year 169S, he will not tell when, where, or by whom ; by Mr. 

This latter name looks as if it had been tacked on at a ven- 
ture. Both the Hankinsons and the Rylands were rather trouble- 
some dissenters at this period. 

John Newton, of Hale, and Elizabeth Drinkwater, marryed in August 
19th, 1699, at Sandbage (Sandbach), as I am told. 

Ellin Warburton, of Dunham, and James Pauden, of Brownley Green, 
in Northenden parish, were marryed Septr., 1699, I know not wn., where, 
or by whom. 

Roger Simpson, of Altringham, smith, and Mary Harrison, of Altring- 
ham, marryed (as is said) about Novr. 21, 1699, but do not tell when, 
where, or by whom. They were marryed, 'tis said, by Mr. John Brown, 
not in holy orders. 


This Mr. Brown was <i sort of Gietna Grcon gentleman who 
lived at Ashton-on-Mersey, and he united se\xral couples in the 
bonds of holy matrimony " contrary to the statute in that case 
made and provided." These storms subsided, and for a long time 
marrying and giving in marriage proceeded in the orthodox 
fashion. Even the Eylands and the Hankinsons saw the error of 
their ways, and went to the Parish Church as in duty bound. 
There is also not the same loose style of entering, but it is 
difficult to withstand the con\-iction that this is rather ungallant : — 

Richard Ai'dern and ye wlioman from Prestbury parish, marryed Octr. 
25th (1708). 

Probably she had the same objection to giving her name as 
ladies are said to have to stating their age. 

The most important entry we come to for many years then, 
is the record of the marriage of the Yicar : — 

August 28th, 1717. — Mr. Peter Lancaster, vicar of Bowdon, and Mrs. 
Mary Edmonds, of this parish, were married at Bowdon Church, by 
Mr. Spencer, curate at Lyrame, by licence from Mr. Allen, of Peover. 

At the end of the volume is the following : — 

October ye 20th, 1709.— At a parish meeting in Bowdon Church it was 
granted and agreed that Augustin Rawlins, parish dark, instead of 
gathering his wages wh. is one lay (rate) he is to have it gathered by ye 
church warden.9 and collectors from henceforth. 

This is signed by Matthew Wood, vicar, the churchwardens, 
and others present at the meeting, including Alderman John 
Higginson, who makes his mark, the said mark resembling the 
figure four made very awkwardly. 

Volume v., which ^ve take next in order, contains l.iaptisms 
from 1702 to 1720, and burials from 1702 to 1717. It was 
provided at the charge of the parish, as testified to by " John 
Millatt, de Dains, of Carrington, George Timperley, of Timperley, 
George Leicester, of Hale, and Aaron Warburton, of Bowdon, 
churchwardens." The children baptised are those of a tanner at 
Hale, a flaxman, gunsmith, horse-jockey, mercer, glover, clothier. 


apothecary, brickmoulder, bricklayer, barber, basketmaker, 
butcher, cooijer, flaxseller, baker, a whitesmith, at Carrington, 
and a miller at Dunham, which tend to show that 200 years ago 
this was a district of some importance. 

There are several baptisms of illegitimate children, one of 
which must have been the offspring of a man of consequence, and 
must have held even the powers that be in awe. After the words 
detailing the usual particulars, there is — "Wch. she fathered 
upon Mr. G C " 

There are some children baptised by JNIr. Waterhouse, who, 
like Mr. Dernily, was a dissenting thorn in the ecclesiastical side, 
and the fact is always precisely stated. In some cases he is 
" dissenting minister," in others " dissenting teacher," and he 
appears to have been in business in a large way. At Carrington, 
" Mr. Orrill," another dissenting teacher, was busy at this period. 

Amongst the burials in June, 1703, there is that of — 

Mr. Robert Whitehead, Curate of Bowdon. 

April, 1708.— Ann Johnson, servant for 40 years at Dunham House. 

In the year 1667, an Act of Parliament was passed for the 
encoTiragement of the woollen and paper manufactures in the 
kingdom. It enacted that no corpse should be buiied in " shirt, 
sheet, shroud, or shift," but in woollen, and an affida^-it made 
made -ndthin eight days of interment that the dead was not 
shrouded in linen. A penalty of £5 was incurred if the law was 
bi'oken. These affidavits are regularly entered in the Bowdon 
Parish Registers as having been made, except in solitary instances, 
which were at once notified to the churchwardens. No specific 
entry of the enforcement of the Act appears until June, 1709, 
when there was — 

" Alice, wife of Thomas Warburton, of Hale, buried in linnen contrary 
to Act of Parliament. He paid ye fine to ye churchwardens of Bowdon 

for ye use of ye poore. " 


Not many years aftcnvards, the fine of £5 was enforced in 
the case of — 

" Mary Leigh, widow, Bowdon, buried in linnen. £2 10s. whereof 
went to the poor." 

In 1728, Nicholas Waterhouse, of Bowdon, a dissenting 
teacher, "was buried in linnen," but there is no note made as to 
whether any fine was enforced. This famous Act was not 
repealed until 1814, and then not without some opposition. 

Amongst other biu'ials are : — 

"1709, Dec. — Mary, wife of George Leicester, gouldBmith, of 

"1710, March. — James, son of Hen. Smith, of Altringham, Alderman." 

1710, March 11th.— A still born child of William Coppock, of Hale, 
clandestinely buried about this time, notice given to ye churchwardens, 
and then Wm. Coppock pd. ye buriall fees and id. churching. — Wit : Tho. 

1711, Dec. — Wm. Hesketh, of Altringham, Alderman. 

171-, Dec. — John I'ritchard, servant to Mr. Robert Orrell, Ashley, 
who drown'd himself. 

1714. — Wm., son of John Royle, of Altringham, flaxman. 
1716, May 9th.— Mr. Matthew Wood, Vicker of Bowdon. 

Volume VI. contains baptisms from 1720 to 1738; weddings 
from 1719 to 1731 ; and burials from 1717 to 1738. We here 
find the first reference to another trade or calling in Altrincham 
and the vicinity not mentioned liefore, in the baptism of — 

Wm., son of Wm. Gai-ner, fuxtian man, and of Elizabeth, his wife, of 

1722, Jan. 20th.— Mary, d. of Robert Leather, Alderman, of 
Altrincham, and of Hanna, his wife. 

1722, Jan. 24th.— Richard, son of Richard Leigh, ale seller, 
Altrincham, and Elizabeth, his wife. 

1723, Aug. 3. — Elizabeth, d. of John Swindells, turner, and Elizabeth, 
his wife, of Baguley. 

1723, Aug. 10th.— Mary, d. of John Yates, bricklayer, and Deborah, 
his wife, of Baguley. 

1723.— Henry, son of John Kinsey (barber), and of his wife, Elizabeth, 
of Altrincham. 

1723, Aug. 30.— George, s. of Joseph Harding, fustian man, and of 
Elizabeth, his wife, at Altrincham. 


There were several ale sellers in Altrincham at this period, and 
we once more notice that the dissenters began again to trouble 
their brethren in the church. Baptisms by dissenting teachers are 
often recorded — notably by Wr. Fletcher. There is also a Mr. 
Robinson mentioned as at Eingey or Ringway chapel. The jjrac- 
tice of recording trades appears to have been most capricious. 
Sindei'land, too, is for a great numljer of years spelled Sunder- 

Amongst the burials at this period was — 

Joseph, son of Peter Melann, a Grecian, and of Mary, his wife. 

One still more noteworthy occurred in 1727 in respect of 

Haiuiah, wife of Robert Orrill, of Hale, — 

She was buried at her own desire without being brought into je 
church or liaving prayer said over her ab ye grave, being a most rigid 

On June 16th, in the same year,— - 

Robert Prasmore, a wayfayring man, from the Bishopric of Durham. 


On the same day, Farmery, son of Mr. Lawton, and of Ann, hia wife. 
" This child was buried in the church without leave from me," says the 
vicar of that period, " or leave ask'd. Agt. wch. I protested at ye grave, 
tho. I did not refuse to bury ye oorijse." 

In 173i there was interred "a travelling woman of the king- 
dom of Ireland, who died at Bollington." The marriages in the 
volume present few features of interest, one excepted, ^iz., that 
on Feb. 22nd, 1725-6 :— 

James Hardey, teacher of a seperate (dissenting) congregation at 
Stockport, and Elizabeth Bentley, of Bowdon, spinster, by licence from 
Mr. Giles. 

Volume Vii. contains marriages from 1731 to 1751, and it is 
pleasing to observe that about the first-named period Bowdon was 
apparently a place to which those from a distance wishful to enter 




00 : 

05 : 



04 : 



04 : 



into the estate of lioly matrimony re.sorted. At the end of the 
volume there is a list of the " brief.s" collected in the 3'ear of our 
Lord, 1751 :— 

£ s. d. 
June Sod, Sliipston Church in com. Worcester Ch. £1,487, 
June 23rd, Knighton Church in com. Radnor Ch. £1,4.36 
July 21st, Netherseal Church, com. Leicester Ch. £2,158 
September 1st, Uptonon Severn Ch. com. Worcest.Ch. £2,015 
Oct. 10th, Stamford Bridge Mill in com. Ebor (York) 

lost by fire, collected from house to house, Ch. £2,8S4 1 : 1 : 7i. 

These " briefs" were letters patent issued Ijy the Crown for 
various charitable objects, such as the rebuilding